U.S. Rail Company Involved in Fatal Explosion was already Accident-Prone

Friday, July 12, 2013
Edward Burkhardt, CEO of Rail World Inc., owner of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd (photo: David Vider, Bloomberg)

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), the company involved in the derailment and explosions that killed an estimated 50 people in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, has been no stranger to accidents in recent years.


MMA has been involved in eight derailments and four collisions in just the last three years in Canada, and another 10 derailments in the U.S. since 2003.


The national average of accidents per million miles of travel by railroads is 2.3 accidents in Canada. But for MMA, the rate is 34.7 accidents.


In the last eight years, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reported eight incidents related to hazardous products and Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, according to The Canadian Press.


In related news, the DOT-111 tankers involved in the Lac-Megantic disaster are prone to rupturing during derailments, U.S. and Canadian regulators have warned.


But the rail industry has fought new rules proposed by the National Transportation Safety Board that would require retrofitting the tankers to make leaks and fires less likely.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Railway Involved in Lac-Megantic disaster has been Involved in Previous Incidents (by Sidhartha Banerjee and Fannie Olivier, Canadian Press)

Ten Years of Highs and Lows for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (by Nick Sambides Jr., Bangor Daily News)

Tanker Cars in Fatal Quebec Rail Crash Had Drawn Scrutiny (by Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Jim Snyder, Bloomberg)

Rosemont-Based Rail World Inc. Monitoring Crash of its Train in Quebec (y Jennifer Delgado and Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune)

Dozens Presumed Dead as Maine-Bound Oil Train Explodes (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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