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The derailment is seen near Field, B.C., on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Three Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. employees are dead after they lost control of a freight train in the Rocky Mountains and plunged about 200 feet off a bridge into the Kicking Horse River early Monday morning.

Moments before the fatal crash, the crew radioed to the railway’s traffic controllers that their train was out of control on the steep descending grade east of Field, B.C., said an official with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

“The train was running away. They couldn’t get it under control,” said Greg Edwards, Teamsters’ general chairman for CP’s engineers. “It left the tracks on the bridge and ended up in the river below the bridge. It is pretty ugly. Before they went in they notified the dispatching centre they were out of control.”

Story continues below advertisement

The train, which was en route to Vancouver, had three locomotives and 112 cars. Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) are probing the cause of the derailment in which 40 to 60 grain hopper cars were involved, said Eric Collard, a spokesman with the investigator of rail, air, marine and pipeline incidents.

CP TRAIN DERAILED NEAR FIELD, B.C.

Jasper

National Park

BRITISH COLUMBIA

ALBERTA

Banff

National Park

Field

Banff

Calgary

0

75

KM

0

1.5

Lower

Spiral

Tunnel

KM

Kicking Horse River

Trans-Canada

Highway

Site of

derailment

Upper

Spiral

Tunnel

Railway

Mount

Stephen

Field

Steep grades in the West

Elevation in thousands of metres

1,500

Field

1,200

900

Salmon

Arm

600

300

0

Vancouver

Yale

Kamloops

Glacier

Banff

Calgary

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE:

TILEZEN; OSM CONTRIBUTORS; GOOGLE MAPS;

WIRES; TRAINWEB.ORG

CP TRAIN DERAILED NEAR FIELD, B.C.

Jasper

National Park

BRITISH COLUMBIA

ALBERTA

Banff

National Park

Field

Banff

Calgary

0

75

KM

Mount Ogden

0

1.5

KM

Lower

Spiral

Tunnel

Kicking Horse River

Trans-Canada

Highway

Site of

derailment

Railway

Upper

Spiral

Tunnel

Cathedral

Mountain

Mount

Stephen

Field

Steep grades in the West

Elevation in thousands of metres

1,500

Field

1,200

900

Salmon

Arm

600

300

0

Vancouver

Yale

Kamloops

Glacier

Banff

Calgary

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OSM CONTRIBUTORS; GOOGLE MAPS; WIRES; TRAINWEB.ORG

CP TRAIN DERAILED NEAR FIELD, B.C.

Jasper

National Park

BRITISH COLUMBIA

ALBERTA

Banff

National Park

Field

Banff

Calgary

Kamloops

0

75

KM

Kelowna

Mount Ogden

Wapta

Mountain

Kicking Horse Pass

Kicking Horse River

Lower Spiral Tunnel

Wapta Lake

Mount Field

Site of derailment

Trans-Canada

Highway

Walcott Peak

Upper Spiral Tunnel

Railway

Cathedral

Mountain

Mount

Stephen

0

1.5

Field

KM

Steep grades in the West

Elevation in thousands of metres

1,500

1,200

900

600

300

0

Vancouver

Yale

Kamloops

Salmon

Arm

Glacier

Field

Banff

Calgary

MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OSM CONTRIBUTORS;

GOOGLE MAPS; WIRES; TRAINWEB.ORG

CP TRAIN DERAILED NEAR FIELD, B.C.

0

75

Jasper

National

Park

B.C.

ALTA.

KM

DETAIL

Vancouver

ALBERTA

93

U.S.

BRITISH

COLUMBIA

Banff

National

Park

Banff

Field

Calgary

Revelstoke

1

Steep grades in the West

Kamloops

Elevation in thousands of metres

Field

1,500

1,200

900

600

300

0

Kelowna

Vancouver

Yale

Kamloops

Salmon

Arm

Glacier

Banff

Calgary

Lower spiral:

880 m long at 1.7% grade

Kicking Horse Pass

Wapta Lake

Mount Ogden

Cathedral Mountain

Site of derailment

Upper spiral:

977 m long at 1.6% grade

Train tracks

N

Field

Mount Field

Yoho National Park

Trans-Canada Highway

0

3

Mount Dennis

KM

MURAT YÜKSELIR AND JOHN SOPINSKI / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS;

GOOGLE MAPS; WIRES; TRAINWEB.ORG

CP TRAIN DERAILED NEAR FIELD, B.C.

0

75

Jasper

National

Park

B.C.

ALTA.

KM

DETAIL

ALBERTA

Vancouver

93

U.S.

BRITISH

COLUMBIA

Banff

National

Park

Banff

Field

Calgary

Revelstoke

1

Steep grades in the West

Elevation in thousands of metres

Kamloops

Field

1,500

1,200

900

600

300

0

Kelowna

Vancouver

Yale

Kamloops

Salmon

Arm

Glacier

Banff

Calgary

Lower spiral:

880 m long at 1.7% grade

Kicking Horse Pass

Wapta Lake

Mount Ogden

Cathedral Mountain

Site of derailment

Upper spiral:

977 m long at 1.6% grade

Train tracks

N

Field

Yoho National Park

Mount Field

Trans-Canada Highway

0

3

Mount Dennis

KM

MURAT YÜKSELIR AND JOHN SOPINSKI / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; GOOGLE MAPS; WIRES; TRAINWEB.ORG

CP did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the train was out of control before the fatal crash.

“It is with great sadness that CP reports that three crew members on board were fatally injured in the incident,” CP said in an e-mail. “Our condolences and prayers go out to their families, friends and colleagues. A full investigation will take place to determine the cause of this incident.” There is no threat to public safety and no dangerous goods were involved, CP said.

“The three-person crew included conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer,” Keith Creel, CP’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“This is a tragedy that will have a long-lasting impact on our family of railroaders,” Mr. Creel said.

He said he would not speculate on the cause while the investigation is ongoing.

Marie Armstrong, a friend of Mr. Paradis’s wife, said the Calgary father of two was an “amazing person.”

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“He loved his wife and children more than anything, he was hardworking, kind and had a great sense of humour,” she said Monday evening.

In a Facebook post written by Albe Bulmer, he said one of the victims of the crash was his son Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer.

“I am sad to report that I have lost one of the jewels in my crown last night in a tragic accident while he was training to be a conductor for CP rail,” he wrote.

The crash happened between Lake Louise, Alta., and Field, B.C., in a mountainous region known for steep rail grades and challenging conditions. The train plunged off a bridge that lies between the two spiral tunnels built more than a century ago to enable trains to travel through the mountains.

“It’s a devastating accident and everybody is affected by this,” David Fulton, who represents CP’s conductors, said by phone from Calgary.

A CP train derailed in the region on the Alberta-B.C. boundary on Jan. 3. The cause has not been released.

Story continues below advertisement

Eight Canadian railway employees have been killed in workplace accidents since Nov. 17, 2017.

“The government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted,” said Lyndon Isaak, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

For the 10-year period ending in 2017, an average of two railway employees died at work each year. Four died in 2017 and three died in 2018, according to the TSB and Teamsters.

With files from Mike Hager, Oscar Beardmore-Gray and The Canadian Press

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