The Lake Megantic derailment - Date/Photographer unknown - Click to enlarge.
7 July 2013
Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) 6 Jul 2013 Derailment in Lake Megantic Quebec (Update)
For Immediate Release:
Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway wishes to provide updated information on yesterday's tragic train accident at Lake Megantic, Quebec. We are advised the fires are largely extinguished, and it appears the fire brigade will finish that part of their task shortly. Provincial and Federal authorities have taken control of the derailment area, and MMA personnel have not been able to enter to continue their investigation concerning cause and to plan recovery operations.
There are a dozen MMA representatives on hand in Lake Megantic, with more arriving continuously. Many have been there since yesterday afternoon, in spite of statements that MMA people have not been available. MMA has established a command center in the Municipal Building. On hand also is Yves Bourdon, MMA board member, who will be the "voice of the MMA" in dealing with municipal, provincial, and Federal officials, emergency personnel, relief organizations, affected individuals, and property owners. Also on hand is Robert Grindrod, MMA's President and CEO.
MMA staff are getting organized to deal with immediate needs of residents and to establish a process for the filing and handling of claims. MMA intends to do all it can to address the damages incurred. MMA has been in touch with the Red Cross and local relief agencies to offer its assistance in providing accommodations, food, and other necessities, and is willing to deal one-on-one with residents to address their needs. We will advise telephone numbers as soon as we can.
While the governmental investigation of the accident's cause has largely prevented MMA from completing its own investigation, one fact that has emerged is the locomotive of the oil train parked at Nantes station was shut down subsequent to the departure of the engineer who had handled the train from Farnham, which may have resulted in the release of air brakes on the locomotive that was holding the train in place. As mentioned above, we don't have complete information concerning this incident, but will cooperate with government authorities as they continue their investigation. To improve our communications, this press release and future messages will also be issued in French. MMA people remain in a state of shock over this incident, and are committed to assisting our neighbors in Lake Megantic to make a complete recovery as quickly as possible. Our thoughts and pray with those who have suffered injury and lost family members.
For information contact:
Montreal Maine & Atlantic Corporation
Northern Maine Junction Park
15 Iron Road
Hermon ME 04401-9602 USA.
Ed Burkhardt, Chairman - 773 714 8669 ext 222
Joe McGonigle, Vice President - 207 848 4222