Searching for answers in Lac-Megantic

Listen

Residents of the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic have emerged from their initial shock and disbelief to demand accountability. Crowds of people surrounded American rail mogul Ed Burkhardt for an impromptu street-side news conference as he visited on Wednesday. We explore the answers he gave, and whether they go far enough.


... I am devastated by what's occured in this community. I have not been involved in anything remotely close to this in my whole life and the devastation here is absolutely awful.

Ed Burkhardt, MMA Chair

Four days after disaster, an angry Lac-Megantic greeted the President of Rail World Inc, the parent company of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. Ed Burkhardt's company owns the train that derailed and set off a series of fatal explosions early Saturday morning.

The people of the town and reporters wanted answers, and Ed Burkhardt held a sometimes awkward news conference on the street, near the blast site.

The police kept hecklers away, but their anger, and others', hung in the air. The 74-year old train executive seemed a little overwhelmed by so many reporters asking so many questions, demanding answers.

Daniel Poulin - Lac-Megantic resident

On Tuesday, Lac-Megantic resident Daniel Poulin told us his own story of waking up to the sound of explosions, and a night sky that had turned into a glowing, intense orange. He's been following closely the evolution of the company's response to the disaster, and he was listening to every word when Ed Burkhardt came to town yesterday.


An earlier episode of The Current featuring Daniel Poulin's story:

Download Flash Player to view this content.


David Jeanes - President, Transport Action Canada

Exactly what happened and who or what is to blame for the Lac-Megantic catastrophe will likely take a long time to determine precisely. To help us understand what questions need to be asked, we spoke to David Jeanes. He's the president of Transport Action Canada, a national advocacy group for public transportation.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Shannon Higgins and Sujata Berry.

Have thoughts you want to share? Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or on Facebook. Or email us from our website. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

Other segments on today's show:


Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.