VIA Rail accident: victims identified

Canada’s VIA Rail has identified the three VIA Rail employees who were killed when a passenger train traveling from the Niagara area of southern Ontario to Toronto derailed near Burlington, Ont., on Sunday.

More from GlobalPost: Canadian passenger train derails in Ontario

The victims were engineers Ken Simmonds, 56, and Peter Snarr, 52, of Toronto, and a trainee, Patrick Robinson, 40, of Cornwall, Ont., CBC News reported.

The two engineers were "very experienced," VIA Rail spokeswoman Michelle Lamarche told the Globe and Mail. Simmonds had started driving trains in 1979 and Snarr had worked as a train engineer since May 1978, the Globe and Mail reported. Robinson was in the locomotive as an observer.

Additional details of the accident are emerging also. A senior official at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada told reporters Monday that the train was in the process of switching tracks when the locomotive and five cars went off the tracks at about 3:30 p.m., the Globe and Mail reported.

The train’s black box was recovered Monday morning, CBC News reported. Investigators hope the device will provide more information about the train's speed and efforts to brake.

Thirty-two passengers were injured in addition to the three deaths, CBC News reported. By Monday morning, only eight remained in the hospital, the Globe and Mail reported.

"There's no question it's very tragic," John Marginson, Via Rail's chief operating officer, told reporters Sunday, according to CBC News. "We're a relatively small company, we're a family, we know everyone by name. We certainly feel for the families of the colleagues that we lost."

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.