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Jury selection to begin in Lac-Mégantic train derailment trial


September 11, 2017   by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)


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SHERBOOKE, Que. – Jury selection is set to begin today in the trial of three men charged in the rail disaster that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Que.

Former Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd. employees Tom Harding, right, Jean Demaitre, centre, and Richard Labrie are escorted by police to appear in court in Lac-Megantic, Que., on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The trial later this year for three ex-railway employees charged criminally in the Lac-Megantic train disaster will be heard by a bilingual jury in another town. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Three ex-railway employees – train driver Thomas Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre – face 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death.

The three men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Related: Crown seeking to skip preliminary hearing for Lac Megantic train driver: lawyer

The trial is set to last until Dec. 21, and is being held in Sherbrooke, Que.

On July 6, 2013, a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed in the tiny Quebec community and exploded, destroying much of the city’s core and leaving dozens dead.

Related: Settlement reached in Lac Megantic lawsuit to compensate victims

The bankrupt former railway company Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway has also pleaded not guilty to similar charges and will face a separate trial at a later date.