LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP) — The engineer who parked the train that ran loose, derailed and exploded in the center of a small Quebec town is speaking out for the first time since the disaster that killed 50 people.

Tom Harding spoke through his lawyer Tom Walsh, who said Tuesday that his client is devastated, very down and needs time to recover from the shock of the incident.

Harding left the train unattended overnight in Lac-Megantic to sleep at a local inn shortly before it barreled into town, devastating the small town of 6,000.

The train was owned by Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway.

Edward Burkhardt, president and CEO of the railway's parent company, Rail World Inc., has said the engineer had failed to properly set enough hand brakes.