Fire Fighting in Canada

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Via crash kills three, injures several, shuts Hwy 403

Feb. 26, 2012, Burlington, Ont.- Emergency crews are working to pull passengers trapped inside a Via train that came off the tracks and flipped on its side west of Toronto killing three people.

February 26, 2012  By The Canadian Press

Via spokeswoman Michelle Lamarche said three of the company's employees were killed in the crash in Burlington, Ont. They were riding in the locomotive, she said.

Firefighters and paramedics have climbed atop the toppled train cars in an effort to rescue those still snarled in the wreckage.

There were people being carried away on boards and stretchers while other passengers, looking dazed and battered, were led out of the wreckage by emergency workers.

Larmache said three passengers were airflifted to hospital. Reports say one of the passengers airlifted was a woman in her 70s.


The train came off the tracks at Plains Road and King Road in an industrial area near Aldershot station.

Passenger Deanna Villela of Welland, Ont., said she felt a slight bump before the train jumped off the tracks, sending people and luggage flying.

The crash lasted about 10 seconds but felt like forever, she said.

Lamarche said 75 people were on board the train travelling from Niagara Falls, Ont., to Toronto.

Dorthy Beattie, who lives near the crash site, said she started hearing helicopters overhead around 3:30 p.m.

“I knew there was something amiss but I didn't know what and I honestly did not hear it derailing,'' Beattie said.

“So I had a little walk out just to have a look and it's like a World War Three zone around here.''

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said the crash has caused minor damage to nearby buildings.

Highway 403 has been shut down in the area and GO Transit says its trains are turning back at Burlington.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is sending a crew of investigators to the scene.

Via is asking that people seeking information about passengers on the train to call 1-888-842-6141.

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