An Ontario superior court judge approved a $23-million settlement on Thursday for a class-action lawsuit launched by North York residents affected by the 2008 Sunrise Propane explosion.

About 6,500 people will share in the settlement.

The judge ruled the terms of the settlement were fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the class.

After six years of legal work, a deal was reached last month to avoid lengthy litigation. Those who were seriously injured could be entitled to tens of thousands of dollars. Others could be compensated only about $200 for being forced out of their homes for the night.

A lot of the money will go to the province for healthcare and legal costs.

The explosion happened on Aug. 10, 2008, as Sunrise Propane worker Parminder Saini was doing a tank-to-tank transfer. Saini was killed, and responding firefighter Bob Leek had a heart attack and died.

Sentencing begins in October for the company’s directors, Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belahov, who were found guilty of nine provincial offences.