Train quarantined in Ontario with mystery illness

By: AP
By: AP

TORONTO (AP) -- Canadian authorities quarantined a train in northern Ontario Friday after a woman died and several other people came down with an undetermined illness.

Staff Sgt. Rob Knox said later in the day that Ontario Provincial Police did not think there was a connection between the death and the illnesses.

"At present we do not believe they're related," he said.

Laurel Ostfield, a spokeswoman for Ontario's minister of health, said officials were still awaiting the results of tests on the affected people.

Ostfield said six are ill with flu-like symptoms that appeared to be contained to two cars on the train of 269 passengers and 30 crew members.

One person was hospitalized in stable condition, Ostfield said.

Officials were keeping passengers from leaving the train, said Steve Trinier, the director of ambulance services in the area.

The train was being held in the station in the town of Foleyet, 500 miles northwest of Toronto. The station was evacuated.

The cross country Via passenger train was headed from Vancouver to Toronto when emergency officials received a call Friday morning and met the train in Foleyet.

Police constable Marc Depatie told CBC TV there were reports that the woman who died was in her 60s and already had flulike symptoms when she boarded the train with a group of tourists in Jasper, Alberta.

"There's certainly a possibility of something as simple as food poisoning and also an environmental toxin of some sort," Trinier said.

Health officials were on the alert for norovirus, though they said that has not been identified as the cause.

Noroviruses cause stomach flu and can be caught through contact with infected people or by touching or ingesting contaminated items.

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