Human error probably caused the head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train which killed at least 29 people in one of Canada’s worst rail disasters. The crash occurred when the freight train, going west at about 72kph, apparently went through a stop signal and entered a single track. “We do know the freight train should have stopped before passing that signal,” Ross Walker, a spokesman for the government-owned Canadian National Railways. The collision happened in Hinton, Alberta, a town in the foothills of the rocky mountains. Some 90 people were injured. There were only two possibilities for the accident. “One is a signal malfunction and the other is human error. There is no evidence at this time to indicate there was a problem with the signal,” Walker said. However, he said he could not completely rule out a signal malfunction. Walker also said the probe had also ruled out problems with the track, equipment on either train and human error on the part of passenger train personnel.Today in History

Other important events

1587 - Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded after being accused of plotting murder of England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

1904 - The Russo-Japanese War begins.

1910 - The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.

1920 - Russian Bolsheviks capture Odessa in the Ukraine.

1924 - The first US execution by gas takes place at the Nevada State Prison.

1950 - The first-ever payment by credit card, the founders of Diners Club paid their restaurant bill at Major’s Cabin Grill in New York City.

1955 - Soviet Prime Minister Georgy Malenkov resigns.

1962 - US military council is established in South Vietnam.

1963 - Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Kareem Qasim is assassinated in Baghdad.

1964 - Holland’s Princess Irene renounces her rights to the throne to marry Roman Catholic Spanish prince, Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma.

1971 - The Nasdaq stock market opens for the first time.

1984 - UAE Ambassador to France, Khalifa Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al Mubarak, is shot dead in Paris.

1985 - South Korean opposition leader Kim Dea-jung is put under house arrest after returning from the US.

1986 - South Yemen’s former Prime Minister Haider Abu Bakr Al Attas is named president of Yemen.

1990 - Punctured oil tanker leaks over 950,000 litres of oil into the Pacific.

1992 - US-European Ulysses space probe passes Jupiter.

1993 - The Czech Republic’s Karel Novacek wins the first Dubai Open Tennis Tournament.

1995 - A powerful earthquake rocks Colombia, killing at least 38 people and injuring more than 230 others.

1996 - A cargo plane crashes into the market in Kinshasa, Zaire, killing at least 350 people.

2005 - Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign a truce at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit, ending the 4-year Second Intifada.

2006 - Nepal goes to poll after seven years.

2007 - Rival Palestinian leaders sign ‘Makkah Declaration’ to form a national unity government

2010 - Costa Ricans elect Laura Chinchilla as their first woman president.

2013 - Fares Al Sultan and Deirdre Casey set records at the Tri Yas traitlon at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

2014 - A fire kills at least 15 people in a pilgrim hotel in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.