Canada passenger train collides with SUV in Québec, 2 dead

Mon Jun 2, 2014 3:22pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A passenger train east of Montréal collided with a passenger vehicle at a rail crossing early on Monday, killing a man in his 40s and a one-year-old child, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported, citing provincial police.

Québec provincial police on Twitter confirmed that there were two deaths in the accident near St-Liboire, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of Montréal.

A spokesman for VIA Rail, which operates national rail passenger service in Canada, said that the barriers were down and caution lights were flashing at the crossing when the accident occurred.

A Canadian Press report says Québec police are not excluding the possibility that the driver planned a "voluntary act."

"We cannot exclude that this could be a voluntary act and, for that reason, the investigation has been transferred to the homicide squad," it said, quoting spokeswoman Joyce Kemp.

The collision, which cut the vehicle in two, is being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

None of the 97 passengers on board the Montréal-Québec City train were injured, said VIA spokesman Jacques C. Gagnon, adding that traffic will gradually be restored on the line this afternoon.

In September, a VIA Rail train collided with a double-decker city bus in Ottawa, killing six people on the bus. One bus passenger said the driver did not seem to notice the oncoming train or flashing track-level signals.

(Reporting by Susan Taylor, editing by G Crosse)