Quebec orders MMA Railway, World Fuel to pay for crash cleanup

Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:25pm EDT
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* Quebec government promises taxpayers they won't pay

* Expects companies to respond on Tuesday

* July 6 crash killed 47, destroyed center of Lac Megantic

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, July 29 (Reuters) - The Quebec government has ordered the rail and fuel companies involved in a devastating train crash that killed 47 people in the town of Lac Megantic to pay for cleaning up the crude oil that spilled in the town and surrounding lakes and rivers.

Quebec Environment Minister Yves-Francois Blanchet invoked powers under a provincial law on Monday to force the companies to take financial responsibility for fixing environmental damage.

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

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.

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.   Continued...