Busy Beavers Blamed for Fatal Train Crash

A Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigator revealed that beavers were likely a contributing factor to a train derailment near Ponton, Manitoba, that resulted in the death of a railway worker.

At about 6.15 p.m. on September 15, a train traveling at 25 miles per hour flew off the tracks as it was going over a trestle bridge south of Thompson on the Hudson Bay line, according to a statement from the Arctic Gateway Group, the current owner of northern Canada's Hudson Bay Railway. The train's lead engine went off the tracks first, bringing with it two other locomotives and multiple railway carriages.

Jerry Berriault, the TSB's regional senior investigator who spent two days onsite looking into the incident, revealed that the swampy area below the tracks had high levels of water and signs of beaver activity, reported CTV News.

"They've had heavy precipitation for spring and summer as well there was beaver activity in the area," he said. "So, the track washed out as a result of a significant amount of water."

Arctic Gateway Group purchased the Hudson Bay Railway earlier this month from U.S. company OmniTRAX. "The Arctic Gateway Group is monitoring this situation very closely, and we have been advised that at this time there does not appear to be any significant environmental danger to nearby areas resulting from the derailment," company officials said in a statement.

The incident resulted in the death of one locomotive employment and caused “serious injuries” to a second staffer.

“Sadly, one of our employees working on the locomotive has been confirmed by authorities as deceased. A second employee has sustained serious injuries and has been airlifted to hospital. The RCMP is in the process of notifying the families,” The Arctic Gateway Group said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved in the accident, and with our employees,” they continued. “We thank all of the first responders and emergency services workers that have assisted in the initial response to this incident, and we remain committed to cooperating with these emergency services teams and all other stakeholders to provide information and support in the wake of this tragic incident.”

A train derailed in northern Manitoba, on September 15. Although beavers contributed to the train’s derailment, investigators are currently looking into identifying other factors that could have caused the incident. Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Although the beavers contributed to the train's derailment, investigators are currently looking into identifying other factors that could have caused the incident.

According to Berriault, the railroad cars, which were transporting liquefied petroleum, were damaged in the incident. However, the product it was carrying survived.

The accident also caused the locomotives to leak diesel into the Metishto River. Authorities had confirmed that Manitoba Sustainable Development had already dispatched specialized recovery equipment to deal with the spill, reported The Globe and Mail.