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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
Six former MMA employees face charges for roles in Lac-Megantic tragedy


The Canadian government yesterday announced charges were filed against six former Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) executives and workers in connection with the July 2013 train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, that caused 47 fatalities.

The following face two charges each for breaching Canada’s Railway Safety Act: former MMA President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Gindrod; General Manager of Transportation Lynne Labonté; Director of Operating Practices Kenneth Strout; Manager of Train Operations Jean Demaitre; Assistant Transportation Director Mike Horan; and Thomas Harding, the train’s engineer. They must appear before a court in Lac-Megantic in November.

Charges also were issued against MMA and its Canadian affiliate. MMA went bankrupt after the accident and ceased operations.

Transport Canada’s investigation into the accident found that an insufficient number of handbrakes were applied to the train and that the handbrakes weren’t tested properly. Following the accident, the agency introduced stricter requirements for railroads to physically secure trains and reduce train speed when carrying hazardous materials in highly urbanized areas.