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Jury clears ex-rail workers in Lac-Megantic train disaster

January 19, 2018 6:11 pm

*A Canadian jury has found three former rail workers not guilty of criminal negligence for their connection to the Lac-Megantic disaster five years ago. *

On 6 July 2013, a runaway train filled with petroleum crude oil derailed in the small eastern Quebec town.

Forty-seven people were killed in the tragedy and much of Lac-Megantic’s downtown core was destroyed.

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The trial began 2 October in a Quebec Superior Court in Sherbrooke, about 100km (62 miles) west of Lac-Megantic.

Locomotive engineer Tom Harding, traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre were charged in 2014 with criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.

Under Canada’s criminal code, the charge carries a potential life sentence.

All three pleaded not guilty.

The twelve men and women on the jury began deliberating on 11 January.

On Tuesday, Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas sent them back into deliberations after they told him they were at an impasse.

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