Police raid Quebec offices of rail firm involved in LacMégantic train explosion

Posted On Oct 8 2019 by

Police raided the Canadian offices of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway on Thursday as part of their investigation into a train crash earlier this month that destroyed the center of the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and killed 47 people.“We are executing a search warrant,” Sergeant Benoit Richard of the provincial police, Sûréte du Québec, told Reuters. “We are searching the offices now.”Richard said officers were combing through the railway’s office in Farnham, Quebec, about 65 kms (40 miles) east of Montreal, in search of evidence that could help with their investigation into the July 6 tragedy.Montreal Maine & Atlantic (MMA), a unit of Chicago-based Rail World Inc, operated the train that crashed into Lac-Mégantic.The train, which was hauling 72 tanker cars full of crude oil, and was operated by a single engineer, had been parked for the night on a main line uphill from the lakeside town. After the engineer left, it started rolling downhill, derailed in the center of Lac-Mégantic and exploded into a wall of fire.MMA Chairman Ed Burkhardt was not immediately available for comment on Thursday. In the days after the crash, he publicly questioned whether the engineer had set enough brakes to hold the train in place before he left for the night.Investigators are still searching the center of Lac-Mégantic for clues on the cause of crash. They have said the train’s hand brakes are one focus of their probe.© Thomson Reuters 2013 read more

NotreDame fire British politicians and religious leaders express sadness at Paris cathedral

Posted On Sep 25 2019 by

The MP was sitting on the banks of the Seine during an Easter break with her daughter when the fire broke out and told The Telegraph: “We were sitting on the bank of the Seine 6.30 early evening sunshine. Then we saw smoke starting to rise above houses, which we realised was from Notre Dame. “As we walked to bridge you could see thick clouds of smoke and flames running up the spire. It blocked out the Sun.“The roof took really fast, the flames whipped along the roof. We saw the rose window blow. “We saw the spire fall, it was heartbreaking. The spire was eaten away by the flames of orange. Centuries of history and beauty have been lost.“It’s awful to see such damage to such an incredible building but your first thought was for the people. We just hope everyone’s ok.”Ed Llewellyn, Britain’s ambassador to France described the images of the burning Cathedral as “heartbreaking” adding,  “All our thoughts with the heroic firefighters as they battle this terrible blaze.” A spokeswoman for the Association of English Cathedrals said: “Our hearts go out to the people of Notre Dame and Paris as we watch this tragedy unfolding; made more poignant at this time of Holy Week  – one of the most important dates in the  Christian calendar. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said the fire was “heartbreaking”. She said: “Heartbreaking to see Notre Dame ablaze. Praying no one hurt. Historian Tom Holland said: “History is indeed being made in the most terrible, heart-rending way.He later added: “An irony: Christians can watch the destruction of Notre Dame, and be confident, amidst all their sorrow, that only the City of God is truly eternal – that every work of humans will ultimately turn to dust. Those without religious faith lack that consolation.”A spokesperson from Westminster Abbey said they were “devastated” for their friends at Notre Dame and for the people of France.”You are in our thoughts and prayers tonight,” they added.Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic in England and Wales said: “The shock at the outbreak of this fire is spreading round the world. “It is an iconic building visited by millions but more importantly is a symbol of faith which is at the heart of Europe. “We therefore all pray that the fire is extinguished quickly and with a shared effort the building made good.” Art dealer Philip Mould picked out one gothic statue he hopes is spared from the flames. Heartbreaking images from Notre Dame Cathedral this evening. All our thoughts with the heroic firefighters as they battle this terrible blaze https://t.co/MD3KtDEOq1— Ed Llewellyn (@EdLlewellynFCO) April 15, 2019 “We pray for them and all who are working to bring this fire under control and we will continue to offer our prayers up to them all this week. “London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames. London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always.”Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic Notre Dame fire – and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ. Nous sommes avec vous.”Anne Hathaway, who was awarded an Oscar for best supporting actress for her critically acclaimed role in Les Miserables has posted on Instagram expressing her deep sadness.”I know this is an inspired representation of an even greater divinity. I know this blessed place is a human-made interpretation of what is mysterious, unknowable, and undefinable and while seeing her burn brings tears to my eyes, I know even flames cannot diminish her sacredness. Still, not her.  Please. Not her,” she said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Just like our own Westminster Hall, for centuries it stood as an window in to our history. A visible connection to our past. Heartbreaking.” Have just come away from the bank of the Seine after the spire fell as I can’t bear to watch any more. Fearful for anyone close to the flames, and aghast that centuries of history & beauty could disappear into smoke so fast pic.twitter.com/yxIVBz9RAn— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) April 15, 2019 British politicians and religious leaders expressed their sadness at the devastating fire engulfing Notre Dame cathedral on Monday night.On the ground in Paris, some 400 firefighters have been mobilised to tackle the flames which have spread across the Cathedral’s roof, bringing down its spire. Prime Minister Theresa May, currently in Wales, said: “My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.”Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in Japan, said he was thinking of his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian  “and all our friends in France tonight following the devastating fire at Notre Dame.”Heartbreaking for the millions who love this great cathedral and great city across the world. Wishing you all the best in tackling the blaze and its consequences,” he added. It’s this early C14th gothic masterpiece of emergent naturalism that I pray is spared in the inferno. #NOTREDAME pic.twitter.com/SULxTMEHuh— Philip Mould (@philipmould) April 15, 2019 “Tragic to see Notre Dame, an iconic, global landmark, visited by so many of us when first introduced to Paris, now engulfed in flames,” said conservative MP Tobias Ellwood. Dominic Grieve, a Tory MP and chairman of the Franco-British Society, said: “I’m devastated to see and hear of this fire. It is an iconic building of great importance to France. I only hope the fire can be brought under control.” Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chair of the Home Affairs select committee is in Paris, and tweeted a picture close to the devastating scene.”Have just come away from the bank of the Seine after the spire fell as I can’t bear to watch any more,” she said. “Fearful for anyone close to the flames, and aghast that centuries of history & beauty could disappear into smoke so fast.” read more