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Jury selection process begins at trial for Lac-Mégantic accused

Three ex-railway employees each face one charge of criminal negligence causing death of 47 people
OHS, health & safety, employment law
First responders fight burning trains after a train derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Que. on July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Transportation Safety Board of Canada/Handout via Reuters

SHERBROOKE, Que. (CP) -- A judge is listening to exemption requests from prospective jurors at the trial of three men charged in the rail disaster that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Que.

Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas has received requests from a long line of people who do not want to take part in the bilingual trial, which is expected to last until December.

Most cited school, work, loss of income and health concerns as reasons for not being able to sit as jurors.

A few people broke down in tears in front of the judge, saying they knew one or more of the victims who died on July 6, 2013, after a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed in the Quebec community and exploded.

Dumas accepted the majority of the requests for exemption.

Three ex-railway employees -- train driver Thomas Harding, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre - each face one charge of criminal negligence causing the death of 47 people.

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