Canada allows railway behind disaster to operate

OTTAWA — A Canadian government agency has determined that the U.S. rail company whose runaway train crashed into a small Quebec town, killing 47 people last month, has adequate insurance to keep operating for the next month and a half.

The Canadian Transportation Agency said the Montreal, Maine &Atlantic Railway provided evidence it had adequate third-party liability insurance coverage to operate from Aug. 20 to Oct. 1, 2013. The agency’s decision late Friday reversed an Aug. 13 order that would have halted the railroad’s operations from early next week.

The agency said the rail company provided new facts and information demonstrating it had adequate third-party liability insurance for the short term. However, agency spokeswoman Jacqueline Bannister said Montreal, Maine &Atlantic must show it has the funds to pay the self-insured portion of its operations, or the regulator will suspend its operations from Aug. 23.

On July 6, an unmanned train, with 72 tankers of crude oil, came loose, derailed and crashed into the center of the town of Lac-Megantic near the Maine border in eastern Quebec. Several tankers exploded, destroying 40 buildings. An estimated 1.48 million gallons of oil were spilled.

The rail company was granted creditor protection on Aug. 8 after the company said it couldn’t afford the cleanup and reconstruction costs for the town.

In its bankruptcy filings, the railway’s Canadian subsidiary said it only had $25 million in insurance coverage, while estimating the environmental cleanup alone will exceed $200 million. The railway and its Canadian counterpart, Montreal, Maine &Atlantic Canada Co., also cited debts to more than 200 creditors after the disaster.

A company attorney has said he expects executives to explore putting the rail company up for sale within weeks.

Montreal, Maine &Atlantic also faces a series of class-action lawsuits on behalf of the victims.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read