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Officials say no new illnesses after woman on VIA train dies

A VIA Rail sign at the train station in Halifax on Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Provincial health officials reported no new or worsening illnesses but also offered no answers on Monday, after one woman died and three people were taken to hospital with flu-like symptoms having become ill aboard a passenger train Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for the provincial Coroner told the Globe and Mail a post-mortem has been completed on the deceased passenger, whose name has yet to be released, but no cause of death has been determined, and test samples have been sent to public health authorities for further analysis. Ministry of Health spokesperson Joanne Woodward Fraser said it is unlikely the province will release further information until Wednesday, after the Jan. 1 holiday.

The VIA Rail train, which left Vancouver at 8:30pm on Christmas Day, was near Parry Sound, Ont., at 5 a.m. Saturday morning when crew stopped and called local emergency services, which pronounced the woman dead on-site and took the other three for treatment.

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The train, which carried 200 passengers and 13 crew members, arrived in Toronto shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday – about 6 hours late.

VIA says a quarantine was placed on the two rooms the passengers were in, and does not believe anyone else was in those compartments, which were sterilized. Health officials didn't think other passengers or the train's crew were exposed to those taken off the train.

With files from Canadian Press

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About the Author
Banking Reporter

James Bradshaw is banking reporter for the Report on Business. He covered media from 2014 to 2016, and higher education from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, he worked as a cultural reporter for Globe Arts, and has written for both the Toronto section and the editorial page. More

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