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Railway involved in derailment lays off 19 workers

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July 17, 2013 02:07 PM EST | AP


LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — The company that owns a train that derailed in Quebec says it is temporarily laying off 19 employees in the province because the track is unusable.

A union representing employees at the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway said Wednesday the company has laid off 17 workers and two managers from its 75-person workforce in Quebec.

A train carrying crude oil derailed on July 6, and exploded, triggering a massive blaze that engulfed much of Lac-Megantic's downtown core, killing 50 people. The disaster left the track unusable.

Daniel Roy, the Quebec director of the union, denounced what he calls the company's cavalier attitude. He says the company did not offer any advance notice.

A company official said they intend to rehire the employees when the line is re-opened.