Worker dies at CP Rail yard in Port Coquitlam

A Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive engineer died at the Port Coquitlam rail yard Monday night under circumstances the union representing the worker says "are unclear at this stage."

The 56-year-old father from Mission, who had 32 years of service according to the union, is the tenth member of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) to die on the job in the last two years, according to the union.

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"Our hearts go out to the locomotive engineer's family and everyone who worked with him," said Lyndon Isaak, president of the TCRC. "The rail industry is in crisis. We have lost 10 of our sisters and brothers over the past 24 months. It's 10 too many."

The latest incident shows that government and industry need to work harder to prevent "senseless railway tragedies," the union said in a statement.

Teamsters Canada, which represents 125,000 workers across Canada, including 16,000 rail industry employees, said it would not comment further while a Transport Canada investigation is ongoing.

In a statement from CP Rail, spokesperson Andy Cummings confirmed the fatality, but would not provide any details about the incident.

"The company's deepest sympathies go out to the employee's family, friends and colleagues," he said. "CP is offering counselling to the family and our employees through our employee and family assistance program."

He added that "a thorough investigation is underway" into what led to the death.

The Transportation Safety Board was notified of the incident at the Canadian Pacific rail yard shortly before midnight on Monday night. Spokesman Dean Campbell said investigators are gathering information before determining their next steps.

Coquitlam RCMP assisted in the incident but say the lead agency on the file is the Canadian Pacific Police, which referred questions to Canadian Pacific.

-with files from CP

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