Lac Megantic

Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press via AP

It’s been nearly five years since a runaway oil train derailed on a curve in the downtown of Lac Megantic, Quebec, which is not far from the Maine border. Several cars ruptured, their fuel exploding in a fireball that killed 47 people.

Since then, many in the town have wanted the railroad track to go away. Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted their wish.

Oil Train Disaster Fund Complete

Dec 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A $460 million (Canadian) settlement fund for victims of an oil train disaster in Canada is fully funded, keeping the process on track for the first payments to victims early in the new year.

Until recently, the public could get details from the state about shipments of crude oil and other hazardous materials moving through Maine by rail.

But now, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has stopped providing this information, as the attorney general reviews a change to the state's Freedom of Access Law.

The tweak, in a bill passed earlier this year over Governor Paul LePage's objection, says information about hazardous rail shipments, provided to emergency responders, can be kept private.

MONTREAL - A Canadian judge has signed off on the $338 million settlement fund for families of the 47 victims of the 2013 Lac Megantic oil train disaster.

The decision means victims' families should start getting money by the end of the year, says Bob Keach, the trustee for the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, which operated the train.

PORTLAND, Maine - Final approval of a $338 million settlement for victims of an oil train derailment in Quebec has been delayed to provide time for the only party that's opposed to the fund to either join in the settlement or negotiate terms to withdraw its objection.

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday ordered the parties to reconvene Oct. 5, and the U.S. bankruptcy trustee is confident the settlement will be confirmed.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland judge is poised to sign off on a settlement fund worth hundreds of million of dollars to help victims of the 2013 Lac Megantic rail tragedy in Quebec.

PORTLAND, Maine - A federal bankruptcy judge in Maine has given initial approval to plans to distribute $86 million U.S. dollars to families of victims of the Lac Megantic oil train disaster.

The payout is part of a larger $330 million settlement to compensate those affected by the tragedy. Forty-seven people were killed when the run-a-way oil train derailed in downtown Lac Megantic two years ago, causing a deadly explosion.

LAC MEGANTIC, Quebec - A former Maine rail boss is among those facing prosecution by the Canadian government for the July 2013 derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec, which claimed 48 lives.

According to Canadian media reports, Robert Grindrod, chief executive of the now-bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Canada Railway, is among six former employees being charged with violating federal railway safety and environmental laws in connection with the oil train disaster.

A Canadian judge has not yet decided whether to approve a $345 million settlement being offered to victims of the 2013 Lac Megantic rail disaster.

The money — some of which would also go to the Canadian government to pay for environmental cleanup costs — is being offered by most of the companies accused of responsibility for the tragedy, which claimed 48 lives.

A Superior Court judge in Quebec was expected to decide on Wednesday, but according to Portland attorney Robert Keach — who's acting as a trustee in the case — he took the matter under advisement.

LAC MEGANTIC, Quebec - On Wednesday of next week, a Canadian judge decides whether to approve a $345 million U.S. dollar settlement being offered to victims of the 2013 Lac Megantic rail disaster.

Forty-seven people were killed when an unmanned train carrying crude oil exploded in the Quebec town. A firefighter who helped later took his own life.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A court filing in Canada is the first step toward implementing a settlement fund for victims of an oil train disaster that killed 47 people.

Officials filed a motion Friday to extend a deadline to implement the settlement in the Canadian case, which could result in a larger settlement. The filing also provided details on how the money could be distributed.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A proposed settlement fund to compensate victims of a fiery train derailment that claimed 47 lives in Canada is due to be filed next month with more than $200 million in commitments.

The trustee for the railroad that went bankrupt after the disaster tells The Associated Press his goal is to more than double the sum - reaching about $500 million - by the time judges in the U.S. and Canada sign off.

Courtesy Transportation Safety Board of Canada

BANGOR, Maine - The new owner of the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway is vowing to run a profitable, efficient and safe railroad by 2015. Fortress Investment Group paid $15 million to acquire the track and other assets, after the Lac Megantic disaster drove the MMA into bankruptcy. Key Maine industries have a lot at stake in the new company and its leader, John Giles.

Courtesy Transportation Safety Board of Canada

LAC MEGANTIC, Quebec - Canadian officials say the runaway train disaster that killed 47 people and destroyed part of Lac Megantic, Quebec last summer was caused by a combination of human error and lax safety systems.

That's the conclusion of a year-long investigation into the accident by Canada's Transportation Safety Board.  At a press conference unveiling the investigation's findings, TSB Chair Wendy Tadros said Maine-based Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway shares some of the blame.

Sunday marks the first anniversary of the oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, not far from the Maine border.  

A runaway train of the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway de-railed in the center of town. Tanker cars full of oil exploded into flame, devastating part of Lac Megntic's downtown and killing 47 people.

This weekend, a candlelight walk will be staged through Lac Megantic.  It's scheduled to last 47 minutes - one minute for every person who died in the tragedy.

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