Friday, 3 June 2016

Q72: 1924 Train Explosion Files Still Secret?

Mich Ozeroff, Langham, Saskatchewan, May 31, 2016, wrote:

One cloudy and dull afternoon last February I 'googled' Farron, B.C. and was introduced into a topic many of us have heard about for many long years — 'explosion on the Kettle Valley line, the death of Peter Verigin'.

Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History.
Explosions on the Kettle Valley Line. The Death of Peter Verigin

I spent two or three days reading the list of articles printed leading up to the death of Mr. Verigin, much of which I've heard before until I read about the 'inquest' and was surprised and amazed at what I read in the last paragraph in the inquest report.
'In late April, 1925, six months after the event, neither the CPR nor the B.C. ministry of the attorney general had a copy of the transcript of the Nelson inquest because the court stenographer had not completed it. In fact, even today, the B.C. Archives does not appear to possess a complete transcript of the Nelson inquest, as the typewritten numbering shows 57 pages missing out of a total of 138 pages.'
This is just about beyond comprehension, in this country, for this to have happened and still presumably not corrected. Have you heard if these missing pages have been accounted for and can I as a citizen get a 'complete copy' of the inquest into the death of Peter V. Verigin in Farron, British Columbia in 1924?


In October 29, 1924, Peter V. Verigin and eight others were killed in a mysterious train explosion in the mountains between Castlegar and Grand Forks, British Columbia. The case remains unsolved.

Like you, many Doukhobors are frustrated that the BC government or someone else is still hiding our history by not releasing these files for more than 85 years. Also, we have no idea if the USA FBI has any files on this case.

In 1977 Larry Ewashen made a public video about his struggle to get access: “The Death of Peter V. Verigin & Freedom of Information,” shown on the CBC program “Ombudsman.”

Larry concludes that we need an act of Parliament, like the more liberal Freedom of Information Act in the USA, to get these files. Is the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act protecting the privacy rights of unknown individuals, such as government officials?

For now, the most comprehensive work about this file is online at the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History. Explosions on the Kettle Valley Line. The Death of Peter Verigin.



  1. AT a 45 day silent retreat this question arose on my mind and what came up was who allowed the Doukhobor's into Canada were responsible to the act of terrorism! If someone wishes to know I can let Koozma know.

    1. it was not a terrorist act. This is a banal murder.

  2. Don Tarasoff, Victoria, British Columbia3 June 2016 at 22:09


    like many other files on Doukhobor history in BC Government archives, I originally found the edited version of the inquest into the death of Peter Veregin. I gave it to both the USCC and the Reformed communities. As I recall the portion that was redacted had to do with the protection of potential accused persons called to testify in Nelson. There must have been legal protection of their privacy; I guess the question is whether this protection is in effect after so many years.

    As well I read the files on the immigration of russians through China to BC looking for the mysterious watch maker- no luck

    this was many years ago but these are my recollections.