More Bodies Found After Quebec Train Derailment and Fire [UPDATE]
Officials say two more bodies have been found after a deadly fire that destroyed the center of a lakeside village in Eastern Quebec. 15 people are confirmed dead and more than 40 are still missing after a runaway oil tanker train derailed and exploded early Saturday in Lac-Mégantic, about 10 miles from the Maine border.
The train belonged to Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway and was reported to be heading to Maine with a load of crude oil. A spokesman for the company said the train had been parked uphill of Lac-Megantic after the engineer finished his run late at night.
The 73-car train apparently started rolling and went off the tracks in the downtown area around 1:00 a.m. Saturday.
Numerous explosions came over a span of several hours as the fire tore through the town, destroying at least 30 homes and other buildings. There are reports that several people inside a bar perished in the blaze.
Rescue personnel from several border communities, including Sherbrooke and Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec and Rangeley, Maine were called in to help with the disaster in Lac-Megantic. Emergency crews reportedly had to steer clear of a large section of the town out of concern that more tanker cars could explode.
As many as 150 firefighters, including some from Maine, were finally able to extinguish the fires Sunday evening. A coordinated search continues for an estimated 40 people still missing. Quebec police conceded that some bodies may never be recovered.
Hundreds of evacuees took refuge in a Red Cross shelter set up at the community's high school. Hundreds more are staying with family and friends
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Lac-Megantic Sunday afternoon and offered his condolences. Harper called it an "unbelievable disaster" for the eastern Quebec community and "there isn't a family that is not affected by this."