* Company says railway, local authorities handling cleanup
* Says it doubts legality of government order
OTTAWA, July 30 U.S. fuel logistics company
World Fuel Services Corp said on Tuesday it has "serious
objections" to being ordered by the Quebec government to help
pay for the cleanup of the devastating railway crash in
Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on July 6.
The provincial government of Quebec signed a legal order on
Monday obliging the U.S. operator of the train, Montreal, Maine
and Atlantic (MMA) Railway, and World Fuel Services, whose
subsidiary sold the light crude oil carried by the train's
tanker cars, to foot the bill.
The crash, North America's worst railway disaster in two
decades, killed 47 people and destroyed the center of the small
lakeside town of Lac Megantic
"World Fuel Services will continue to meet any and all
obligations it may have with respect to the accident; however,
we have serious objections to the legality of the order," the
company said in a statement.
"We intend to promptly discuss these issues with the
The tanker train had been parked for the night when it broke
loose and sped away, driverless. It derailed and crashed in the
Lac Megantic, where it exploded into a fire ball.
World Fuel Services said it was surprised by the government
action as it was the first time the government had said the
company bore any responsibility.
Cleanup crews have begun to recover an estimated 5.7 million
liters (1.5 million U.S. gallons) of oil from the nearby lake,
river and ground. Quebec Environment Minister Yves-Francois
Blanchet promised on Monday that taxpayers would not have to pay
Lac-Megantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche complained last week
that MMA had not paid the three companies it had hired to help
clean up after the calamity. She said the town has been forced
to pay the companies more than C$4 million ($3.9 million) to
prevent them from downing tools.
The town sent a formal notice to MMA at that time to insist
it pay up.
Although World Fuel Services has sent its own experts to
monitor the cleanup of oil from the disaster site, it said that
work is being controlled by MMA and local authorities, who have
given it limited access.
MMA has not yet commented publicly on the government order,
but was also expected to respond formally on Tuesday.
MMA laid off at least five more workers in Quebec on
Tuesday, on top of 19 who were dismissed earlier this month
because of reduced activity since the accident, according to