TORONTO — The law firm representing the families of 47 people killed in the 2013 Quebec train crash says it has received a financial proposal that would see them split $61 million in compensation.

Chicago-based law firm Meyers & Flowers says it will closely review the settlement to determine whether the defendants are paying sufficient funds.

A proposed settlement fund for all victims of the accident had reached $270 million with a $60 million contribution from Irving Oil last month, according to a bankruptcy trustee.

The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train transporting oil was left unattended by a lone crew member while parked outside Lac-Megantic on July 6, 2013. The train’s brakes failed and it barreled down eight miles of tracks and into the center of the town of 10,000, where more than 60 cars derailed and many exploded. Forty-seven people died, and much of the downtown was destroyed.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board concluded in a report released in August that the railroad’s weak safety culture and poor government oversight were among many factors that led to the accident. TSB chair Wendy Tadros said 18 factors played a role, including a rail company that cut corners and a Canadian regulator that didn’t do proper safety audits.

The environmental cleanup alone could end up costing $200 million to $500 million, based on early estimates.

The Maine-based railroad, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, filed for bankruptcy after the disaster and was sold for $15.85 million, virtually all of which went to repay creditors.

The Lac Megantic accident, as well as other derailments that have led to fires and oil spills into water supplies, have spurred efforts to tighten safety standards on certain kinds of rail tank cars known to be prone to rupturing in an accident, as well as other regulatory changes.


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