Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Criminal Charges Leveled Against those Responsible for the Lac Megantic Disaster

Charges have finally been laid in the July 6, 2013 death of 47 people caused by a runaway train carrying crude oil in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Prosecutors have laid criminal negligence charges against the railway and three employees connected to the disaster, including the train’s lone engineer. The trio were arrested on Monday May 12, and they were formally charged on Tuesday May 13.

A total of 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death had been filed against engineer Thomas Harding, manager of train operations Jean Demaitre, railway traffic controller Richard Labrie, as well as the Montreal Maine and Atlantic (MMA) Railway Ltd., which declared bankruptcy shortly after the disaster. MMA is in the process of being sold to Railroad Acquisition Holdings LLC, an affiliate of New York-based Fortress Investment Group. The sale is expected to be completed next week.

In addition to killing 47 people, the explosion destroyed 40 buildings and spilled millions of litres of crude oil into the town and nearby lake and river.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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