A petition filed by the British Columbia Supreme Court argues that the fire started as a result of heat and spark from the rails when a CB freight train was moved on tracks owned by CN.
Also according to the court document, the fire broke out around 4:15 pm on June 30, as the CN Bridge crosses the Fraser River. Storms of up to 70 km/h carried the flames to Lytton, destroying the entire village in less than two hours.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the British Columbia Forest Fire Department and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board are investigating the source of the fire.
When asked about the class action filing, CN said it was aware of the legal process and the investigation into the cause of the Lytton fire was continuing.
CN issued a statement on July 6 saying it had investigated a video posted on social media that suggested a train caused the Lytton fire.
After reviewing the evidence, CN concluded that the video did not show a train in Lytton or near Lytton at the time of the village fire. In fact, the video shows a train 28 miles south of Lytton, and the smoke seen in the video is from another fire that was already burning..
Canadian Pacific declined to comment on the civil complaint, but referred the Canadian Press to earlier statements that the fire was still under investigation and that any conclusion or speculation about its cause or contributing factors was premature.
CP said in July that it had inspected all of its trains that passed through Lytton during the period in question, and based on their review, which included video footage, the company found
Nothing indicates that any of the CP trains or equipment that passed through Lytton caused or contributed to the fire.
Before hearing the case on the facts, the court must authorize the class action. As per the information provided in the application filed in court, the plaintiff appointed to represent the prosecution claims that she lost her home as well as her graphic design work which she ran from her residence.
With temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius, the lawsuit believes that rail companies should have known that conditions were unsafe to operate trains on the tracks, and thus failed in their responsibility to protect the community.
Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for loss of property, housing, business income, and damages caused by pain and suffering.
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