Quebec government takes control of oil clean-up after rail disaster

09 August 2013 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Quebec’s provincial government and the town of Lac Megantic have decided to take control of the clean-up work from July’s derailment and explosion of an unattended train carrying crude oil that destroyed the centre of the town, killing 47 people, a government spokeswoman said on Friday.

The decision comes after a court in Quebec granted a petition for creditor protection by the rail carrier involved in the accident, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MM&A). The company had filed for creditor and bankruptcy protection in both Canada and the US.

In a media statement, the government said that it and Lac Megantic commissioned Quebec-based construction and project management firm Pomerleau to co-ordinate the clean-up, ensuring that there is no disruption to the work following MM&A’s filing.

Quebec’s ministry of social services had said previously that affected businesses and residents may be allowed to return to the town centre in June 2014.

A spokesperson for MM&A chairman Edward Burkhardt told ICIS that the company can currently not estimate how much the clean-up work and claims against it from the accident will cost.

She confirmed that, despite the filing for creditor protection, MM&A intends to continue its rail services in Quebec, "unless there are any obstacles to this" from the Quebec government or other authorities.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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