World Fuel questions Quebec order to pay for train crash cleanup

Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:43pm EDT
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* Company says railway, local authorities handling cleanup

* Says it doubts legality of government order

OTTAWA, July 30 (Reuters) - U.S. fuel logistics company World Fuel Services Corp said on Tuesday it has "serious objections" to being ordered by the Quebec government to help pay for the cleanup of the devastating railway crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on July 6.

The provincial government of Quebec signed a legal order on Monday obliging the U.S. operator of the train, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) Railway, and World Fuel Services, whose subsidiary sold the light crude oil carried by the train's tanker cars, to foot the bill.

The crash, North America's worst railway disaster in two decades, killed 47 people and destroyed the center of the small lakeside town of Lac Megantic

"World Fuel Services will continue to meet any and all obligations it may have with respect to the accident; however, we have serious objections to the legality of the order," the company said in a statement.

"We intend to promptly discuss these issues with the relevant authorities."

The tanker train had been parked for the night when it broke loose and sped away, driverless. It derailed and crashed in the Lac Megantic, where it exploded into a fire ball.

World Fuel Services said it was surprised by the government action as it was the first time the government had said the company bore any responsibility.   Continued...