MONTREAL - Canada's railway regulator has decided to allow the company at the centre of the Lac-Megantic, Que., derailment disaster to operate in Canada until at least Oct. 1.
The Canadian Transportation Agency announced Friday afternoon that it is "satisfied" the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and its Canadian branch have enough secured funds to continue operations.
The CTA said it would have revoked the company's licence to operate in Canada if it didn't have enough insurance.
MMA is in bankruptcy protection after a runaway crude-carrying train derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic on July 6, killing 47 people. A court-appointed monitor is in the process of selling off the company's assets.
The CTA's decision came less than two hours after Superior Court Judge Martin Castonguay ruled that in the event of another crash involving MMA, $250,000 would be secured — and kept away from existing creditors — in order to pay insurance costs.
The CTA said it accepted the judge's ruling and is satisfied the railway company has enough insurance to operate. CTA spokeswoman Jacqueline Bannister said MMA hasn't asked for its licence to be extended beyond Oct. 1.
The lawyer for MMA told the court Friday morning that if the judge didn't order the secured funds, the consequences would be catastrophic for all the companies and people who rely on the MMA railway network.
The judge said he needed to ensure the company keeps its maximum value for its creditors.