Via train halted by fallen tree in eastern Ontario
Delays for passengers bound for Montreal and Ottawa
A Via train travelling from Toronto to Ottawa and Montreal struck a tree that had fallen on the tracks near the eastern Ontario city of Belleville on Friday, forcing passengers to take buses to reach their destinations.
No one was hurt, but the impact shattered locomotive windshields. Via Rail says even though the train was able to continue to its station in Belleville, a few kilometres away, it wasn't safe to go any farther.
Passenger Frank Dimant, CEO of B'nai Brith Canada, was heading to Montreal to attend meetings organized by the group when the accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. ET Friday.
"We heard a crashing sound, but the train kept moving for a short while before it came to a stop," he said.
"We’re rolling into Belleville. Engine has power and can move but [the] windshield is destroyed," another passenger identified as Jason Wagar wrote on his Twitter feed around 9:15 a.m. ET.
About 200 passengers who left the train in Belleville were on the buses by 10:20 a.m. ET, Via spokespeson Mylène Bélanger told CBC News.
Bélanger said it's possible the accident was weather-related, but that can't be confirmed.
A storm with freezing rain and ice pellets, which began in southwestern Ontario on Thursday and moved eastward, coated many trees in ice.