Update: Via Rail train quarantined in N. Ontario after mystery illness hits passengers

In an update, Canadian Press reports that a woman in her 60s has died and several others have fallen ill on a halted Via Rail passenger train in northern Ontario that was en route from Vancouver to Toronto. The victim apparently boarded the train in Jasper, Alberta.

Ambulances and police scrambled to the tiny hamlet of Foleyet early Friday morning and have now quarantined the train, which was carrying about 260 passengers and 30 crew members.

As many as 10 people were reported to have flu-like symptoms and at least one person has been airlifted to the Timmins and District Hospital.

The illnesses appeared to be contained to two train cars.

Only emergency response personnel were being allowed on or off the train and could only get on board with full protective gear.

Deborah DesRochers, chairwoman of the town of 380 about 100 kilometres southwest of Timmins, said,

"The whole place is being overrun with ambulances and police cars, and we’ve got helicopters. They’ve got the train quarantined. They’re trying to isolate what it is."

Provincial police Const. Marc Depatie said officials are still trying to determine exactly what caused the illnesses on the train and whether they’re at all related to the fatality.

"We don’t know if the element is viral or bacterial or a case of food poisoning."