Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron-economics, the former banker turned minister

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande's Last Chance: Can Weakened President Reform Without Left Flank?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"The capital of sex, drugs, alcohol, trash and trashy tourism"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"Macron Economics"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches "Bullet Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: mission accomplished ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French government crisis: 'Krankreich' not Frankreich

Read more

ENCORE!

France's Ongoing Literary Love Affair

Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • In pictures: France’s new ministers

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • American 'Islamic State fighter' killed in Syria

    Read more

  • The ‘war’ at the heart of France’s ruling party

    Read more

  • Burger King to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for $11 billion

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

  • World’s ’most expensive’ apartment to go on sale in Monaco

    Read more

  • Egypt, UAE carried out airstrikes in Libya, says US

    Read more

  • ‘Modern Family’ and 'Breaking Bad' win big at Emmy Awards

    Read more

Americas

Railway company ‘can’t pay’ for Quebec train disaster

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-31

The railway company involved in a devastating train accident that killed 47 people and spilled crude oil in and around the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic said Tuesday that it did not have the funds to pay the $8 million clean-up bill.

The rail company involved in a devastating train crash that killed 47 people in the town of Lac Megantic said Tuesday that it could not pay for cleaning up the crude oil that spilled in the town and surrounding lakes and rivers.

“"We're unable to fund that out of our own cash," said Edward Burkhardt, chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, of the CAN $8 million (€5.8 million) clean-up bill from Lac-Megantic.

"The company would like to get the cash flowing under our insurance policy and continue to address the cleanup following the derailment, the environmental issues, and then to start addressing claims made by local residents, businesses and so on," he told a New York radio station.

Quebec Environment Minister Yves-Francois Blanchet invoked powers under a provincial law on Monday to force the rail and fuel companies involved in the railway disaster to take financial responsibility for fixing environmental damage.

The order names Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd (MMA), a unit of Chicago-based Rail World Inc, and Montreal, Maine & Atlantique Canada Cie as well as fuel-services companies World Fuel Services Corp and Western Petroleum Company.

"The citizens of Quebec are not the ones that will have to pay for this," Blanchet said in a televised news conference.

A train operated by MMA carrying light crude derailed on July 6 in the small, tourist town of Lac Megantic, exploding into a giant wall of fire next to a busy nightclub, killing 47 people and flattening the town's core.

Some 5.7 million liters of oil leaked from the rail cars, according to estimates by the Quebec government. Some of that has already been removed but Blanchet insisted the rehabilitation work must continue nonstop and without cost to taxpayers.

The town of Lac Megantic's legal representatives wrote previously to MMA to request it handle the cleanup job.

The train, which was hauling 72 tanker cars, was operated by a single engineer and had been parked for the night on a main line uphill from Lac Megantic. After the engineer left, it started rolling downhill, derailed and exploded.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board are expected to release an update later this week on their probe of the accident, but they have said they believe the brakes applied on the train were insufficient.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-07-31

  • CANADA

    Investigators stumped on Quebec train explosion

    Read more

  • CANADA

    Quebec train disaster death toll could surpass 40

    Read more

  • CANADA

    Quebec town devastated in deadly train explosion

    Read more

COMMENT(S)