The train engineer that was responsible for the 72-car train Lac-Mégantic, Quebec train derailment and explosion spoke out for the first time through his lawyer, Thomas Walsh. The engineer has been identified as Farnham, QC native, Thomas Harding.
1. Harding Has Gone into Hiding
According to his lawyers, Mr. Harding has gone into hiding at their suggestion in an effort to avoid the media spotlight. The engineer is reportedly “having a difficult time” and that he doesn’t want to talk to anyone about it, which is understandable given the circumstances.
2. Harding Was Questioned for Ten Hours by Government Officials Following the Accident
Harding was was questioned by the Sûreté du Québec for at least 10 hours following the crash. He was then questioned by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada for another four hours.
3. Was Sleeping At The Time Of The Explosion
Harding was reported to have been sleeping at the l’Eau Berge Motel, where all of the railroad employees stay while working in Lac-Mégantic, at the time of the accident. The motel is located just meters away from where the place of derailment.
4. Harding Was A Veteran In His Field
Thomas Harding has worked for the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) for several decades. His colleagues and friends described him as a “high-calibre engineer” and said he is “extremely competent.” People who have known him since childhood remember him always having a passion for trains and wanting to following in his fathers footsteps into train engineering.
5. The Accident Killed An Estimated 50 People
The train derailment and subsequent explosion resulted in the death and vaporizing of an estimated 50 people.