Oct. 01--BANGOR, Maine -- A federal bankruptcy judge will consider Tuesday pending motions in the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway bankruptcy, including one that would allow victims of the devastating crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, that left 47 dead to be represented in the proceedings.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich is expected to decide whether an unofficial committee that would allow survivors to have a voice in the proceeding will be created. Other motions he will deal with Tuesday address plans to fund the continued operation of the Hermon-based railroad and pay administrative costs.
A document filed Monday by attorneys representing victims of the accident includes statements from residents of the small, rural community about the effect the crash of the runaway train and subsequent fire has had on them and their families.
The statements were gathered from more than 200 people seeking to join a class action lawsuit filed in court in Canada against Western Petroleum Co., World Fuel Service, Petroleum Transportation Solutions and MMA's parent company Rail World Inc., all of Chicago, along with Dakota Petroleum Transportation Solutions, DPTS Marketing LLC and Dakota Plains Marketing, all of Minnesota, Irving Oil Co., of New Brunswick, Canada, and XL Insurance Co. Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland.
Individuals affected by the disaster, who are identified in court documents by their first names and their initial of their last names, cited stress, headaches, insomnia, fear and other health problems. Some also said they have lost their jobs, homes and businesses.
"Fear, anxiety, stress of having been evacuated from my home, loss of my family and my friends that I will never see again," said Gaetane L. said. "A lot of difficulty to have a normal life and I am obligated to make a big detour for my work. It has disrupted my life every day."
Celine T, who owned a commercial building with four residential units in which three people died in the blaze, said she lost property, wages, business, tenants and friends and now feels insecure about her future.
"Now, we feel after this tragedy from the long night of July 6, the rage, anger, sadness, wounds, scars that will take a long time to heal. Our heart is [in] ashes like our downtown," she said. "I am proud to be 'Megantiquoise' of Lac-Megantic [and] we need to keep hope for a future. We will never forget this tragedy, the loss of our citizens and the loss of our downtown."
Tuesday's proceeding in Bangor is being shared by teleconference with a Canadian bankruptcy court.
Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.
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