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Canada  

Megantic jury at impasse

The jurors at the Lac-Megantic trial told the judge Tuesday they are at an impasse in their deliberations.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas read a letter from the jurors in which they asked him what would happen if they couldn't reach unanimity.

"We are at an impasse," Dumas said, referring to the letter. "What happens if we can't arrive at a unanimous decision."

Dumas was expected to address the jurors later in the day.

Tom Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaitre were charged with criminal negligence causing the 2013 tragedy that killed 47 people when a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.

Before the jurors began deliberating last Thursday, Dumas told them the verdict for each had to be unanimous.

All three accused can be found guilty of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people, while jurors have the option of convicting Harding on one of two other charges: dangerous operation of railway equipment or dangerous operation of railway equipment causing death.

Harding was the train's engineer, Labrie the traffic controller and Demaitre the manager of train operations.

The three men each pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.

None of them presented a defence at the trial, but lawyers for each told the jury in turn the Crown had failed to meet its burden of proof.

The prosecution mounted a case that the three were each criminally negligent in their own way for failing to ensure the train was safe before the wee hours of July 6, 2013.

That's when the locomotive and its cargo of crude oil from the United States rolled away and derailed in Lac-Megantic, exploding and then killing 47 people as well as destroying part of the downtown core.



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