A train derailment turned to tragedy in a town in the Province of Quebec. The train was originally parked but was moving without a conductor when the incident occurred.

Four tanker cars of petroleum exploded in the east Canadian province of Quebec after a train derailed, leaving flames billowing hundreds of feet into the sky. Some 30 buildings were destroyed and 1,000 evacuated from homes. Local radio reports 60 missing.

“It's dreadful,” Lac-Megantic resident Claude Bedard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “It's terrible. We've never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone.”

The 73-tanker train left the tracks shortly after 1 a.m. local time as it was passing through the French-speaking lakeside town of Lac-Megantic, causing a huge fireball to rise into the night sky. Witnesses told Reuters they heard at least five loud blasts. The fire spread to a number of homes.  Radio Canada have reported that around 60 people are missing.

The Montreal, Maine, and Atlantic railway is a company formed in 2003 after that rail company was privatized and "restructured". They only run fifteen trains a day on 500 miles of track. More on their parent company below.
A railway management, consulting and investment corporation specializing in privatizations and restructurings.  Its purpose is to promote rail industry privatization by bringing together government bodies wishing to sell their stakes with investment capital and management skills. Rail World was incorporated in July 1999 by Edward A. Burkhardt, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer.

United States and Canada

Mr. Burkhardt serves as Chairman of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, a 750 mile regional railway operating in Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick.  He is President of The San Luis Central Railroad Company, a short line railway based in Monte Vista, Colorado, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, a regional carrier serving the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The original page for MM&A lists five hundred miles of track, the parent company lists 750.  Further research is needed to determine why there is a 50% discrepancy in the amount of track owned. I'm sure the investors or tax officers have something to say about the difference.
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