A file photo of a VIA Rail train leaving the station in Windsor, Ontario, en route to Toronto.

Train Arrives Safely in Toronto Following Quarantine

May 09, 2008 08:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Passgeners arrived Saturday morning. Their train was quarantined Friday when one woman on board died and several others became ill.

30-Second Summary

The train pulled into the station at about 7:30 a.m., roughly 11 hours behind schedule.

Passengers had been held under quarantine for much of Friday after an 86-year-old woman died on the train, and at least five others became ill with flu-like symptoms.

Officials were worried about the nature of the mystery illness affecting passengers, but eventually concluded that they did not have an infectious disease, and that their illness and the woman's the death were not related. 

A doctor on board the train determined that the woman died of cardiac arrest. 

The Toronto Star reported Friday that the train stopped in the small town of Foleyet, in northern Ontario, at roughly 8:30 a.m., after a passenger reported feeling ill and stopped breathing. She later died.

Media accounts varied Friday afternoon, and the newspaper originally reported that 10 other people had been taken to the hospital in the nearby town of Timmins, although reports now suggest only five people became sick.

Relieved passengers deboarded without incident Saturday morning while a crew of TV cameras and reporters stood by.

While some said they were not given adequate information during the quarantine, Via Rail spokesperson Catherine Kaloutsky said, "our employees were communicating with passengers as they were getting the information. That’s part of our protocol.”

Although the situation appeared to be entirely under control Saturday morning, the incident is reminiscent of the 1976 outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease, when 14 men traveling together complained of mysterious, pneumonialike symptoms.

Headline Links: Quarantined train arrives in Toronto

Background: Quarantine begins following woman's death

Related Topics: ‘Boil water’ advisory issued for Foleyet

Legionnaires’ Disease, a mysterious illness that started small

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