Construction equipment is still scattered throughout the town, digging out oil-seeped pavement and soil where the public library, post office and restaurants once stood. The fenced-off disaster area still has a long way to go before new roads and buildings will be opened up, and the environmental cleanup of the nearby river will cost at least $200 million.
The accident prompted tighter regulations on tankers in the US and Canada, but it’s not enough for the residents who were injured or lost loved ones in the massive accident. To the dismay of many townspeople, it may not be as long before oil trains return to the troubled town, especially since many people still feel that they’re in the midst of the tragedy. City officials are pushing for the rail company to create a new track that would go around the town instead of through it.
Only $25 million in insurance payouts have been provided for personal injury, wrongful death claims from families of the deceased, property damage, environmental impact and fire suppression.
“An accident this big is going to require a lot more than $25 million to cover all of the loss and damages,” says Aaron Waxman, A. Waxman Law and Associates. “The insurance companies need to step up and help these people.”
For now, citizens of Lac-Megantic can only rebuild, wait, and hope for the best from the ongoing lawsuits.