By PAUL VIEIRA
OTTAWA -- Canada's transport regulator suspended Tuesday the
operating license of the railway involved in a derailment in a
small town in Quebec that killed 47 people.
The Canadian Transportation Agency said it revoked the
license belonging to Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway
because of concerns over the company's insurance coverage. The
suspension takes effect on Aug. 20.
MM&A filed last week for bankruptcy protection in both
the US and Canada, a month after a company train carrying crude
oil derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec, sparking massive
explosions and wiping out sections of the town.
The company in court filings said that its obligations had
exceeded the value of its assets, and that the company had lost
much of its freight business since the derailment.
The agency said it reviewed MM&A's insurance coverage
and was "not satisfied" the company had adequately restored
coverage to the same level prior to the Lac Megantic derailment
in early July.
"This was not a decision made lightly, as it affects the
economies of communities along the railway, employees of [MMA],
as well as the shippers who depend on rail services. It would
not be prudent, given the risks associated with rail
operations, to permit [the company] to continue to operate
without adequate insurance coverage," said Geoff Hare, the
agency's chief executive.
The railway, whose US operations are based in Hermon, Maine,
is a subsidiary of Illinois-based train owner Rail World Inc.,
a company led by railway veteran Edward A. Burkhardt. Mr.
Burkhardt didn't immediately respond to a request for
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