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School community, rail workers heartbroken after Calgary teen struck by train dies


Students from Bowness High School went ahead with graduation ceremonies, but it was a sombre occasion coming the day after a 17-year-old classmate died after being hit by a train.

A single vase with lilies stood by the main entrance of the school, which was closed for the graduation on Wednesday.

A train conductor who has driven the route many times told CTV News they are required to sound the horn as they approach the two bridges crossing the Bow River near where the teen was hit.

He said there are often people around the tracks there, with largely empty trains coming into the city at around 70 km/hr.

The president of the union representing drivers says these kinds of accidents are far too common, and that they are devastating for everyone involved.

“The effect on operators of train crews it’s catastrophic, but each individual takes it differently,” Paul Boucher, the president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, said.

"You know its tough on the train crews but it’s also tough on the families involved. This situation’s extremely unfortunate. My heart goes out to the family.”

Boucher says his members are thinking of the teen’s family and that more enforcement is needed in the area by rail operator CPKC.

Officials said there were two operators on the engine at the time of the collision. Standard procedure would result in both operators being given three days off and offered counselling supports.

CPKC says, "Wednesday’s tragic incident on the railway bridge over the Bow River involving a CPKC train is under investigation" and "CPKC works with Operation Lifesaver, local law enforcement and other stakeholders around the country to educate the public about rail safety and the dangers of trespassing." Top Stories

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