The accident, Canada’s deadliest in almost 150 years, was horrific—some people sitting in a café, for example, reportedly burned alive after fleeing, while others jumped from a building’s third floor to escape the inferno.
Edward Burkhardt, the chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railways (whose train was responsible for the damage), managed to make matters worse. He waited several days before showing up and giving a press conference—and when he did, he made an even bigger mess of things.
Burkhardt came across in this press conference with the analytical nature one might expect from someone in a more technical profession. In so doing, he demonstrated that there is a mile-wide chasm between intelligence and emotional intelligence—and while he might have a lot of the former, it’s clear that he has little of the latter.
This press conference is a good example of what not to do. It’s worth watching in its entirety.