"We are in control of our infrastructure": Transport Minister
Published Wednesday, August 3, 2011 5:11PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 5:33AM EDT
Quebec Transport Minister Sam Hamad confirmed to CTV Montreal Wednesday that preliminary analysis on the Viger Tunnel has shown the collapse Sunday was a result of work related to the job site.
Hamad said the 25-ton chunk of concrete that fell was not related to the state of the infrastructure, referring to the incident as an "accident."
He said the tunnel is being closely analyzed.
"We're asking independent experts to submit a report on that, to understand exactly what happened, who is responsible, what is the responsibility and what is the failure – (in order) to act on that," said Hamad.
"I would like to know exactly what happened… to put a solution in place."
Hamad admitted the Transport Ministry has improvements to make, but he would not consider stepped down from his role.
"No, I never thought about that," he said, chuckling. "I'm doing my job. I'm doing my responsibility. The responsibility of the government is to secure all infrastructure."
Hamad said he could understand the concerns of Montrealers and why they are worried, but that the government will continue to investigate, to file infrastructure reports, to do all emergency work promptly, and to invest in infrastructure.
"We are investing $4 million a year. It's never done before; it's an historical investment in order to maintain our infrastructure. The money is there, there is no compromise with safety," he said.
Hamad said the Transport Ministry will reveal reports on the tunnel collapse, and said it was an accident, and that accidents on job sites can happen anywhere in the world.
Hamad could not assure that this kind of collapse could not happen again.
"How can I guarantee any accident (won't) happen? I can never guarantee an accident," he said, adding, "We are in control of our infrastructure. If we have an emergency situation, we react immediately, we repair what we have to do. We are in control of that."
Click the video on the right to hear the complete interview.