TSB to release final report into train derailment in B.C. that left 3 dead

An investigation report into a fatal train derailment near the boundary between B.C. and Alberta is to be released by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) on Thursday.

The derailment in February 2019 caused 99 grain cars and two locomotives to plummet off a bridge near Field, B.C., killing three CP Rail employees.

Engineer Andrew Dockrell, 56, conductor Dylan Paradis, 33, and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, 26, were in the lead locomotive and had just taken over from another crew when the train started moving on its own.

Following a preliminary review, RCMP began a criminal investigation in December 2020.

The TSB has said the westbound train had been parked on a grade with its air brakes applied for two hours when it began rolling on its own.

The aftermath of the 2019 train derailment in B.C. that killed three crew members. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

After gaining considerable speed, and with no handbrakes applied, the train eventually derailed at a curve in the tracks ahead of the bridge.

In November, the families of Dockrell and Paradis filed a lawsuit accusing the TSB of conspiring with CP Rail to block a criminal investigation into the derailment.

The lawsuit, filed in Vancouver, alleged the TSB caved to threats by CP Rail and muzzled its lead investigator in an “elaborate and aggressive” strategy to keep the RCMP from probing the company’s role in the crash.

Earlier in 2021, the families filed a separate lawsuit against CP alleging the company has a history of cutting corners to save money at the expense of workers’ safety, as well as a pattern of abusing its own corporate police service to shield the company from criminal negligence investigations.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

The TSB said it would not comment on the November lawsuit while its report was still pending, while CP Rail characterized the suit as “misleading” and said the railway “continues to co-operate fully with all investigations and inquiries.”

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