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Labour code issues flagged after fatal Canadian Pacific accident in Calgary rail yard

The Canadian Press

Documents show a federal investigator flagged labour code contraventions after a Canadian Pacific Railway train conductor died in a workplace accident in a Calgary rail yard last November.

A Transport Canada rail safety inspector, delegated by Alberta’s labour minister, raised the issues in a letter Friday to the railway’s assistant vice-president of safety.

A written directive attached to the letter, obtained by The Canadian Press, raises concerns over the company failing to identify and assess hazards to employees resulting from increased switching in the rail yard.

READ MORE: Train conductor dead after workplace accident in downtown Calgary

Another directive says the railway failed to secure and maintain the accident scene, and removed, interfered with and disturbed wreckage and other things without authorization.

A spokeswoman for Employment and Social Development Canada declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation because it is ongoing.

Canadian Pacific did not immediately provide comment.

READ MORE: Parked train started moving on its own before fatal B.C. derailment, TSB says

The documents say the railway has until March 8 to inform the inspector of measures taken to make sure the failure of maintaining the accident scene doesn’t happen again.

It has until March 22 to fix issues related to the safety of the rail yard. The company was also told it can request a review by the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada.

Federal officials are investigating a separate Canadian Pacific accident that killed a conductor, engineer and trainee earlier this month near Field, B.C., just west of the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.

A Transportation Safety Board investigator has said the westbound train was parked on a grade for two hours, with its air brakes applied, when it started rolling on its own.

The train sped up to well above the limit and derailed at a curve ahead of a bridge over the Kicking Horse River, sending 99 cars and two locomotives hurtling off the tracks.

READ MORE: Runaway Canadian Pacific train rolls 230 metres through Calgary

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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