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Three rail workers hit by train in northeast Edmonton, trio taken to hospital


A police car sits at the scene after three rail workers were hit by a CN train in Edmonton on Wednesday, Decmebr 26, 2012. Three rail workers have been rushed to hospital after being hit by a train in northeast Edmonton. A CN Rail spokesman says an eastbound train leaving Edmonton struck three contract workers around 9 a.m. December 26. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON - Three workers were struck and injured by a CN freight train Wednesday morning as they cleared snow and ice from rail switches along the tracks.

The men were being treated in hospital and two of the employees were reported to be in critical condition.

Edmonton Police Staff-Sgt. Rob Mills said the men were using snowblowers and wearing hearing protection. They didn't hear the approaching train, which sounded its horn and hit the brakes as it slid towards them along the icy tracks.

"The train came along and saw them close to the track and tried to do some emergency braking, but unfortunately struck the three employees," Mills said.

"All three were taken to hospital."

Police said the east-bound train was going about 40 km/h.

The men are employed by A & B Rail Services Ltd. and were working under contract to CN.

Managers at A & B Rail Services were not immediately available for comment.

The collision is being investigated by CN, Alberta's Occupational Healthy and Safety Department and federal safety regulators.

The Transportation Safety Board is also sending a team of investigators to the site of the accident to assess what happened.

Patrick Waldron, a CN Rail spokesman, said the company's probe will include a review of its operating procedures, including safety.

"Obviously there are procedures in place for any workers, whether they are contract or regular workers, when they are out in the field," Waldron said from Chicago.

"What happened this morning is under investigation so we can find out all of the answers."


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