From Canadian Underwriter

The federal government announced Thursday that Transport Minister Marc Garneau has endorsed an online awareness tool for handling flammable liquid emergencies.

The tool was developed by Enform, a group of six oil and gas industry associations.

That tool “helps first responders to assess hazards at the scene, to know who to contact and what resources are available, and to understand how to respond appropriately and safely,” Transport Canada stated in a release.

The tool is posted to the website of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which helped fund the tool.

The tool “addresses knowledge gaps identified by the Transport Canada’s Emergency Response Task Force following requests from municipalities and first responders in the aftermath of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy,” Transport Canada stated.

On July 5, 2013, a Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) Railway train hauling 72 tanker cars with crude oil was stopped for the night near Nantes, about 180 kilometres south of Quebec City. Early the following morning, the unattended train started to move downhill, picked up speed and 63 tanker cars derailed in Lac-Mégantic. Forty-seven were killed.

The following August, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada published its investigation report on the tragedy. That report included 18 findings as to causes and contributing factors.

MMA “never assessed the risks of leaving a train carrying crude oil unattended, on a downhill grade, with no other precautions taken to prevent the train from running uncontrolled, other than the assumed correct application of the handbrakes,” Don Mustard, senior investigator for rail and pipelines at TSB, said Oct. 8. 2015 during the 42nd Annual Engineering Insurance Conference,which is part of the Canadian Boiler & Machinery Underwriters Association (CB&MUA).

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