Can't eliminate risk of train crashes, CP rail executive says

Emergency workers work on the site of the train wreck in Lac-Megantic, July 12, 2013....

Emergency workers work on the site of the train wreck in Lac-Megantic, July 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:09 PM ET

OTTAWA — Executives from CN and CP rail told a Commons committee Thursday that safety is a top priority, but some crashes are inevitable given the volume of traffic.

"You can mitigate the risk, but you can't eliminate the risk," Keith Creel, CP's chief operating officer, told reporters following the committee meeting.

The committee has been studying the shipping of dangerous goods since the train derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Que., last summer that killed 47 people and levelled much of the small town's core.

The runaway train was carrying Bakken crude in its DOT 111 cars, which have been deemed unsafe since 1991 but are nonetheless often used to ship dangerous goods through North America.


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