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There’s no evidence a train caused the fire that destroyed Lytton, B.C., Transportation Safety Board says

There’s no evidence a train caused the fire that destroyed Lytton, B.C., Transportation Safety Board says
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VANCOUVER—A report from the Transportation Safety Board declares there is no evidence to support the idea that a train was the cause of a wildfire that levelled the town of Lytton, B.C., during the summer.

The board’s findings Thursday come after much speculation within the community that a train could have started the blaze.

“The TSB investigation has not revealed any evidence to link railway operations to the fire,” the board said in a news release.

“Therefore, unless new information establishes that a TSB reportable event occurred, no further work will be performed and no TSB investigation report will be produced.”

The release says the cause of the wildfire is still under investigation by the BC Wildfire Service and the RCMP.

On June 30, a fire burned much of Lytton to the ground days after it had set a Canadian record by reaching a temperature of 49.6 C.

The village was home to about 250 people and about 2,000 Nlaka’pamux people live in the surrounding area. The fire went through the village in about 10 minutes, driven by 50 km/h wind.

Two people were killed and about $78 million worth of insured damage was done to property, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“It happened so fast that no one had time to think about it and to really get ready for this. We were told just get out now,” resident Karen McArthur told the Star on July 2. “It’s just a bad dream, this is all a dream.

“We don’t have a community now. We have nothing.”

In August, a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging the railway companies contributed to the fire was filed on behalf of those who lost homes or businesses. Neither railway company has filed a statement of defence.

According to the TSB report, a CN Rail train with 157 cars passed through the area where the fire is suspected of starting 18 minutes prior to the first report of the fire.
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