Train derails in Ontario, at least one dead: reports

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:30pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A passenger train derailed near Burlington in southern Ontario on Sunday, killing at least three people, according to the train operator VIA Rail.

"There were 75 passengers on board the train at the time of the accident. There are reports of several injuries to passengers and three fatalities," said VIA Rail in a statement.

The six car train, which was travelling from Niagara Falls to Toronto, derailed at 1530 EST (2030 GMT).

"They were in the locomotive, so at this point we know for sure that they (the three people killed) were VIA employees," Michelle Lamarche, a spokeswoman for VIA Rail told CBC Television.

A spokesperson for the Halton Regional police was able to confirm only one fatality. Investigators are reportedly on the scene and the cause of the derailment is not yet known.

VIA Rail, which is owned by the Canadian government, said three passengers were airlifted to local hospitals with serious injuries. More than 40 passengers and one crew member were also taken to local hospitals.

The train was reportedly leaking fuel after the derailment, Postmedia News said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it sent a team of investigators to the site of the incident.

VIA said other trains in the region will be affected due to the tracks being blocked at the scene of the accident.

GO Transit, the regional public transit service provider for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, also said its service along its Lakeshore West line was being impacted by the derailment.

(Reporting By Euan Rocha; Editing by Paul Simao and Christopher Wilson)