Dozens of Lytton residents have gathered Sunday afternoon to protest the Transportation Safety Board's recent investigation into this summer's wildfire that destroyed the village, after investigators found no evidence the fire was caused by passing trains.
The TSB announced the findings of its investigation Thursday, after inspecting a Canadian Pacific coal train that passed through Lytton 18 minutes before the fire was first reported. Video footage from the train was also reviewed, and railway employees were questioned. But investigators found no evidence the train sparked the fire.
When pressed Thursday, TSB lead investigator Michael Carmichael said no Lytton residents were interviewed during the investigation, prompting outrage from many in the community. A petition has been started by residents, calling the investigation “flawed.”
Lytton resident Nora Billy is one of the people attending Sunday's protest, which kicked off at noon near the G'wesp Gas & Food.
“It's extremely emotional here,” Billy said, adding that a CP Rail train has passed by their protest Sunday afternoon. She notes that Lytton First Nation and Village of Lytton community members are in attendance.
One person is holding a sign that reads: “We're homeless CN.”
The fire tore through Lytton on the afternoon of June 30, destroying the vast majority of the villages' buildings and killing two residents.
Several residents have launched two proposed class-action lawsuits against CN Rail and CP Rail, alleging the railway companies are responsible for starting the fire.
The BC Wildfire Service and the RCMP continue their own separate investigations into the deadly fire.
– with files from Alanna Kelly