MMA railway buyer had train derailment in '09, similar to Lac-Megantic causes

Buildings in the affected area of Lac-Mégantic. MATHIEU DUGAS/QMI Agency

Buildings in the affected area of Lac-Mégantic. MATHIEU DUGAS/QMI Agency

Hugo Joncas, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:54 PM ET

MONTREAL — The new owner of the railway at the centre of the Lac-Megantic, Que., train disaster has had its own eerily similar troubles, documents show.

A train belonging to an affiliate of the Centre Maine and Quebec Railway (CMQ) spilled 31,000 litres of fuel in Nanticoke, Ont., in February 2009.

This past January, nearly five years later, CMQ bought the assets of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) for $15 million.

MMA had gone bankrupt after one of its crude-oil trains derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic last July, killing 47 people in Canada's deadliest railway explosion.

An August 2010 Transportation Safety Board of Canada report reveals similarities between the Quebec disaster and the nine-car derailment of a Southern Ontario Railway oil convoy in Nanticoke, an hour south of Hamilton.

Employees in the Nanticoke incident were poorly trained, said the TSB, which also noted improper application of the train's brakes.


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