Santiago de Compostela and Lac-Mégantic: Train crash tragedies – human error vs stupidity


SantiagoRibbonIn the last few months we have seen two airplane incidents that have taken, thankfully yet sadly, only two lives. Both the Asiana crash in San Francisco and the recent nose cone mishap in New York could have been much worse. Air travel is still a safe bet, even if it isn’t everyone’s preference. Which brings us to trains.

The case of Lac-Mégantic appears to be one of negligence, while in  the Santiago de Compostela crash outright stupidity rears its ugly head

Travel by train used to be seen as a safe and economical means of transportation; I venture it is still safe, if a little pricey at times. But the tragedies in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and Santiago de Compostela, Spain must have some people wondering what has happened. The terrible crash that essentially wiped-out the downtown core of Lac-Mégantic and cost at least 50 people their lives can apparently be blamed on human error. Although the details are not yet clear, evidently a number of hand-brakes were not set on the oil-car train when it was parked for the night and it rolled, picking up speed, for several kilometres until derailing and bursting into flames in the heart of Lac-Mégantic.

In Santiago de Compostela the situation is clearer as it was caught on security camera

In Santiago de Compostela the situation is clearer as it was caught on security camera. The passenger train is clearly seen careening at a much elevated speed around a corner and jumping the tracks. The train is twisted into an ugly wreck with at least one car being hurled completely off the track. Over 80 people lost their lives in this horrific crash. As the details start to come out, it would seem the man in control of the high-speed train was fond of exceeding the speed limit as he approached Santiago de Compostela. That limit was in place for a reason.

Either way, both resulted in tragedies of huge proportion

The case of Lac-Mégantic appears to be one of negligence, while in  the Santiago de Compostela crash outright stupidity rears its ugly head. Either way, both resulted in tragedies of huge proportion.

The Guardian
The Guardian

 

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