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Jul 11, 2013

Quebec premier lashes out at rail company after inferno

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Quebec Premier Pauline Marois lashed out on Thursday at the railway boss whose runaway train leveled the center of a tiny Quebec town, as residents came to grips with the reality that 50 of their neighbors were likely dead.

“The behavior of the company and its president has been absolutely deplorable,” Marois said of the executive, Ed Burkhardt, and the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, whose driverless train of tanker cars smashed into Lac-Megantic early on Saturday and exploded in a wall of fire.

Jul 11, 2013

Quebec town grapples with loss in train wreck aftermath

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 11 (Reuters) – Residents of the
town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec were coming to grips on Thursday
with the reality that 50 of their own were most likely dead in
the aftermath of the worst railway disaster in North American in
more than two decades.

Five days after a train hauling 72 cylinders of crude oil
jumped the track and exploded into a wall of fire, provincial
police said they had recovered 20 bodies, with another 30 people
still missing and presumed dead, confirming the worst fears of a
community that had all but given up hope.

Jul 10, 2013

Railway head faces devastated Quebec town, points to train brakes

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 10 (Reuters) – The head of the
company whose oil-tanker train exploded and devastated a small
Quebec town faced cries of “murderer” from furious town
residents on Wednesday and said the calamity may well have
resulted from crucial hand brakes on the train not being set
properly.

“It’s very questionable whether the hand brakes were
properly applied on this train. As a matter of fact I’ll say
they weren’t, or we wouldn’t have had this incident,” Montreal
Maine and Atlantic Railways Chairman Ed Burkhardt told an often
raw and unruly outdoor news conference in the eastern Quebec
town of Lac-Megantic as irate town residents looked on.

Jul 10, 2013

Police boost number of Quebec disaster missing and dead to 60

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – The number of people dead or missing after an oil-tanker train exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic has risen to 60 from 50, police said on Wednesday, as 200 investigators sifted through the charred wreckage of what they said is a crime scene.

The runaway train derailed and blew up in the middle of the town of 6,000 near the Maine border early on Saturday morning, flattening dozens of buildings in Lac-Megantic’s historic downtown and leaving it looking like a war zone.

Jul 10, 2013

Police sift through ‘crime scene’ days after Quebec train crash

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Investigators sifted through the charred remains of Lac-Megantic’s historic downtown early Wednesday morning, as they searched for clues into what could turn out to be North America’s worst railway disaster since 1989.

Police said they are investigating whether Saturday’s derailment and subsequent explosion – which leveled the center of the lakeside Quebec town killing at least 15 and probably dozens more – involved foul play or criminal negligence.

Jul 10, 2013

Quebec police open criminal probe after deadly train crash

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Canadian police on Tuesday said they had opened a criminal investigation into the train explosion that likely killed 50 people in Lac-Megantic, and some 200 officers were scouring the town’s devastated center for clues.

Inspector Michel Forget said police did not believe terrorism was involved when a runaway train hauling 72 cars of crude oil barreled into town early on Saturday, derailed on a curve and exploded into a huge fireball that destroyed the center of the lakeside community.

Jul 9, 2013

Quest for answers starts in deadly Canada rail crash

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Investigators seeking the cause of the deadly train crash in the tiny Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, were focusing Tuesday on the train’s brakes, the railway company’s own regulations and whether Canada needs tougher train-transport standards.

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said more than a dozen investigators were examining every angle of the accident, in which a runaway train hauling 72 cars of crude oil plowed into the lakeside town and exploded.

Jul 9, 2013

Residents of Quebec town allowed to go home after train disaster

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 9 (Reuters) – Authorities in the
severely damaged Quebec town of Lac-Megantic said some residents
could start returning home on Tuesday, three days after a
runaway train derailed and exploded, killing up to 50 people.

“I have excellent news to announce this morning,” Mayor
Colette Roy-Laroche told reporters as she announced that around
1,200 of the 2,000 people who were evacuated due to the disaster
could go home. The town has 6,000 people.

Jul 9, 2013

Shell-shocked residents eager to return home in Quebec town

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Three days after a runaway train derailed and exploded in the downtown core of Lac-Megantic, many residents of the Quebec tourist town are still waiting for answers about missing loved ones, while others are just impatient to return home.

With the fires now out and the authorities finally able to access the epicenter of the blasts, the death toll is expected to climb and many of the town’s evacuated residents will finally be allowed back to assess the damage.

Jul 8, 2013

Corrected: Five die, 40 missing after Canadian freight train disaster

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – At least five people died and 40 were missing on Sunday after a runaway train carrying crude oil exploded and destroyed the center of a small Canadian town in a disaster that raises fresh questions about shipping oil by rail.

The train had been hauling crude from North Dakota to eastern Canada, and was parked, without a driver, outside town when it began rolling downhill, gathering speed and derailing on a curve at 1 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Saturday.

    • About Julie

      "I currently cover mining and minerals out of the Toronto bureau, where I focus on uranium, silver, platinum, lithium and REEs. Prior to moving to the mining sector, I worked as an online editor and video producer for Reuters.com. I started at Reuters as a TV intern in Chile and before that, I freelanced in Eastern Europe and spent eight months living in the Galapagos Islands."
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