On July 6, 2013, this horrific derailment occurred in the town of Lac-Mégantic, located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec. An unattended 74-car freight train carrying crude oil derailed resulting in multiple explosions and igniting a sizeable fire. It is the fourth deadliest rail accident in Canadian history. An oil spill from the train wreck flowed into Lake Megantic.
The railway line passing through Lac-Mégantic is owned by the United States-based Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (reporting mark MMA). The MMA has owned and operated a former Canadian Pacific Railway main line since January 2003, running between Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec in the west and Brownville Junction, Maine in the east.
In July CNN reported that Canadian authorities have found evidence that a criminal act may have led to this disaster.
In August, Internet news source, The Guardian reported Canada's transportation agency is suspending the operating license of the US-based rail company whose runaway oil train derailed and exploded in a Quebec town, killing 47 people. The agency said on Tuesday it was taking away the certificate of fitness for the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway and its Canadian subsidiary, effective from 20 August. The agency said it was not satisfied that the troubled company, which has filed for bankruptcy since the 6 July disaster, had demonstrated that its third-party liability insurance was adequate to keep operating.