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Judge Gives Initial OK to Payout for Oil Train Disaster Victims

PORTLAND, Maine - A federal bankruptcy judge in Maine has given initial approval to plans to distribute $86 million U.S. dollars to families of victims of the Lac Megantic oil train disaster.

The payout is part of a larger $330 million settlement to compensate those affected by the tragedy. Forty-seven people were killed when the run-a-way oil train derailed in downtown Lac Megantic two years ago, causing a deadly explosion.

Portland attorney Robert Keach is the federally-appointed trustee for the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, which operated the train.
"It's a positive development," Keach says. "It gets us one step closer to making distributions to people who deserve them and need to get them as fast as possible."

Keach says creditors of the defunct railroad operator will vote on the settlement by early September. If they approve, it will go back to the judge for final confirmation on Sept. 24.