Criminal Charges Filed in Quebec Railway Crash

By Frederic Tomesco | May 13, 2014

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. and three of its employees have been charged with criminal negligence in connection with the derailment and explosion of a train in Lac-Megantic last year, Quebec’s prosecutor’s office said.

The railway and the employees are accused of having caused the death of 47 people, Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions said in a statement posted on the government’s website late last night.

On July 6, 2013, a train operated by the closely held Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway rolled downhill into the small town of Lac-Megantic, came off the tracks and exploded, destroying dozens of buildings, including a bar filled with patrons.

The disaster prompted regulators in the U.S. and Canada to adopt new rules about transporting oil on rail lines, a practice that has grown because of increases in North American oil production and a lack of pipeline infrastructure.

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic filed for bankruptcy in August last year.

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