LISTEN:Tapes of phone calls shortly after Lac-Megantic tragedy released

Recordings of phone conerversations between a train engineer and a company dispatcher shortly after the Lac-Megantic train tragedy last year have been made public.

Train engineer Tom Harding tells a dispatcher named RJ that flames are soaring into the night sky.

"Flames, RJ, are 200 feet high. It's incredible, you can't believe it here", says Harding.

Harding was initially unware that his train was on fire.

According to the recordings, he later explains to the dispatcher at the train company's office in Farnham, Quebec that Lac-Megantic has turned into an inferno.

"Everything's on fire, from the church all the way down to the Metro, from the river all the way to the railway tracks. From what I can see, RJ, the box cars have all burned in the yard, everything, whatever's in the yard, rolling stock, is now gone completely", says Harding.

Harding found out a few hours later that his train went down a hill, derailed and exploded in the town's downtown core.

47 people were killed in the tragedy.

Harding and two colleagues are accused of criminal negligence. 

Audio recordings courtesy The Globe and Mail

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