Wave of Train Derailments: Error, Sabotage, Vandalism or Terrorism?

By the Rails - Gyula Derkovits
Max is back to business...
During my summer pause, many things have happened around the world; but the most interesting of them all was Anthony Weiner's recidivism of sexual nature (apparently, this US politician has "misbehaved" again). But I am not going to talk about it because there are more pressing issues to discuss.

On the past month of July, we witnessed four train derailments, in four different countries. It could be nothing; after all, trains derail and crash all the time, around the world - many will think. However, the intervals of these incidents may offer clues that perhaps they may not have been that coincidental:

  • 9th of July - Lac-Megantic, Quebec (Canada). A train with 72 tankers of crude oil, derailed and exploded; wiping out a strip of the town. First, the driver was blamed but then the police found evidence of a criminal act.
  • 12th of July - Bretigny-sur-Orge, south of Paris (France). An intercity train derailed and and crashed into a station platform. At first, the driver was blamed but then the authorities concluded the cause of the incident was the detachment of the metal bar connecting the two rails, and began investigating how this could have happened (i.e. they suspect foul play).
  • 25th of July - Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain). A train derailed and crashed, on the eve of the feast of St James. The driver has been blamed. Although witnesses reported they heard an explosion previous to the derailment and crash - having one of them said she "had heard an explosion before seeing the derailed train"; the Spanish seem to have dismissed those testimonies for some undisclosed reason...
  • 29th of July - Granges-Prés-Marnand (Switzerland). Two trains collided. One of the drivers was found dead. The police is investigating what could have provoked the crash in what is considered to be one of the most secure rail networks in Europe (although, until the day this article was concluded, the probable cause presented was "driver error").
The second incident occurred three days after the first; the fourth occurred four days after the third. The two last incidents occurred thirteen days after the two first. Concatenating these events with other major events and threats is capital. There are no coincidences.
The European investigators seemed, at first, to be treating these tragic incidents as unrelated misfortunes caused by human error; but now the French fear that their tragic derailment was caused by sabotage, vandalism...
"Three of the four bolts fixing a steel plate which jumped out of position to derail the Paris-Limoges express are believed to have broken or come loose – something which is regarded as being almost impossible."..."In the memory of railwaymen, bolts have never given way on their own,”...“A deliberate act of sabotage cannot be excluded.”..."Railway experts say that it is conceivable for one bolt in a fishplate to break or come loose, but almost impossible that three out of four should fail at the same time." (The Independent)

Conspiracy Theory
The police, in the four incidents, find proof of foul play (they may even find forensic evidence pointing at the culprit[s]). They are approached by national security agents, who advise them against disclosing information to the press/public lest the "criminal(s)" manage to evaporate; political representatives also approach the authorities to beseech them to avoid using words such as "terrorism" lest some fringes of population cause a bloodshed and a huge political crisis near diplomatic partners - omission of facts is the best policy to keep order.

So, what are we talking about here: human error, sabotage, vandalism or terrorism? You tell me...

Comments

  1. It was truly a very strange set of events. That being said I would say it was an act of sabotage with maybe terror intent. But how?

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    Replies
    1. How? Through hacking. For more than a year security experts have been warning about cyber-attacks on railways. It ain't a new phenomenon but this time they actually killed people...their initial testing consisted of disrupting the service and then I bet they escalated to these fatal incidents. Think about it.

      Delete
    2. Hi Anonymous :D!

      It was indeed. Jack explained it well.

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    3. Hi Jack :D!

      Welcome.

      You are absolutely right. I had read about those warnings last year and I am amazed at how governments/authorities seem to have just dismissed them. It is shameful.

      Jack, thank you ever so much for having made us think. Loved your theory :D.
      I hope you come back to us more often.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. I am so for the cyber-terrorism idea. It is kinda obvious that these attacks were concerted, not just for the reasons introduced here but for others as well.
    This article took me back to an INSS article on cyber weapons that among other things said that cyber weapons have "the ability to penetrate enemy systems without detection, gather intelligence, disrupt activity without arousing suspicion, and even cause physical damage to systems connected to cyberspace."
    I like the conspiracy theory. Good call, Max.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter :D!

      Do you have the title of that INSS article (I must have missed that one)? Excellent quote, thank you.
      Thanks, Pete *bowing*.

      Peter, thank you ever so much for your awesome input. You were missed :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Well, I read that the U.S. is on high alert right now, and that conditions are similar to what they were just before 9/11, so I think your hints of terrorism are correct.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi D! :D

      Yes, they are and they do well - the threat is real and is to be taken seriously.

      D, thank you so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. As I saw the news of each incident I remembered the Al-Qaeda plot in Canada, when two guys wanted to attack a train in Quebec (?), so terrorism is a great possibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      It could be a good correlation indeed. But since they stopped talking about it, we may never have a confirmation on it *nodding*.

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your great input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Since airlines, airports and flights are now difficult to penetrate, there is the possibility that these events could be acts of terrorism. My reading gets buttressed when you consider the USA's Middle East operations coming to a close for a few days due to intercepted messages. I would still like to wait before coming to any firm conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Rummy :D!

      You're right. You made an excellent assessment indeed. Like I said on my "Thought of the Week" (a new feature on the sidebar) the Muslim World move (on the part of the US) is more than a respond to a threat: it is also a message.

      Rummy, thank you ever so much for your fabulous input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Terrorism without a doubt. I like Jack's explanation, it makes a lot of sense. We are dealing with new ways of terrorism and security forces must adapt quickly...it's a new world, even for evil.
    !שבת שלום, מקס

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      It does, doesn't it? Agreed.
      .שבוע טוב

      Ana, thanks for your great input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. hmmmm, and if I could link, the unknown looming fear over the US embassies in the middle-east and African nations. Well, did I take it too far, maybe time will tell, but one thing is for sure the sinister forces are lurking in the shadows and becoming active with more vengeance. I can only wish since 3 of the rail accidents have been in Europe, perhaps the agencies can join hands for a concerted effort rising above petty politics and striking truly at the core of the entire conundrum. Where are you Agatha?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      I don't think you took it too far, no. You are right.
      The agencies join hands all right; but the problem is "Petty Politics" like you said.

      LOL yes, where are you, Agatha? We need you! lol :)

      Kalyan, thank you so much for your awesome comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. I will still give it some time to let things sort out. The Asiana Airlines crash near my San Francisco home is still on my mind. This has been deemed pilot, er, cultural error. The current theory is that the Korean pilot was older than the trainer, thus, he could not accept correction when things weren't going right. Then just as I was flying Lion Air in Indonesia, one of their planes hit a cow while landing. Beside human error and mechanical error, we now have bovine error to consider.

    The incident is here:


    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-incidents/lion-air-jet-hits-cow-after-landing-20130808-2rhpn.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Looney :D!

      Fair enough.
      I have that crash on my mind as well. That is the current theory? A bit lame (although based on cultural facts), isn't it?

      Oh my, poor cows...now, is it normal, in Indonesia, for cows to wander around in the middle of the runway?

      Bovine error...LOL LOL LOL that was a good one...*nodding*. Thanks for the link.

      Looney, thank you so much for your great comment :D. Bovine error...you kill me.

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. LOL LOL LOL LOL...we know they are creative but not that creative...I think. LOL LOL
      Rummy, you kill me!

      Delete

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