The next day the head of the Canadian government arrives to look around. His office announces his schedule:
3:15 p.m. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity...
(Cameras and photographers only)
Afterward, two dozen photos are posted on the prime minister's own website as "PM Harper surveys the damage in Lac-Mégantic."
Harper wasn't running from reporters. He had a meeting scheduled with them an hour later at the local high school. But the damage was done when his office called a photo op a photo op. Presumably someone on Harper's staff is paid nicely to keep this sort of thing from happening.