LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The death toll in Quebec’s oil train disaster jumped to 13 people on Monday and police said about 37 more people were missing, a sign the derailment and explosion could be the worst accident in Canada since the Swissair crash of 1998.
Police said they estimated a total of around 50 people were either dead or missing after the gigantic blast destroyed dozens of buildings in the center of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday.
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.
CHICAGO/LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – The short length of track, nestled in a dark pine and birch forest in Quebec, is a regular overnight stop for freight trains hauling crude oil and other raw materials across North America.
Normally, before retiring for the night, the train operator sets the hand brakes and leaves one locomotive running to power the air brakes that help hold the train in place on the gently sloping track. The next morning, the operator or a relief engineer starts up the train and continues on their way.
CHICAGO/LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 8 (Reuters) – The short
length of track, nestled in a dark pine and birch forest in
Quebec, is a regular overnight stop for freight trains hauling
crude oil and other raw materials across North America.
Normally, before retiring for the night, the train operator
sets the hand brakes and leaves one locomotive running to power
the air brakes that help hold the train in place on the gently
sloping track. The next morning, the operator or a relief
engineer starts up the train and continues on their way.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, CHICAGO (Reuters) – Airbrakes that would have prevented the Quebec train disaster failed because they were powered by an engine that was shut down by firefighters as they dealt with a fire shortly before the calamity occurred, the head of the railway that operated the train said on Monday.
The runaway oil tanker train derailed in Lac-Megantic shortly after one o’clock in the morning on Saturday, exploding in a deadly ball of flames and killing at least five people, with another 40 still missing and feared dead.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 8 (Reuters) – A driverless,
runaway fuel train that exploded in a deadly ball of flames in
the center of a small Quebec town started rumbling down an empty
track just minutes after a fire crew had extinguished a blaze in
one of its parked locomotives, an eyewitness said on Monday.
The train rolled 12 km (8 miles) from the town of Nantes to
the town of Lac-Megantic, near the Maine border in eastern
Quebec, gathering speed on a downhill grade. It derailed in the
middle of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday and blew up, flattening
dozens of buildings and killing five people. Another 40 are
missing, feared dead.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 8 (Reuters) – Canadian police on
Monday struggled to find the remains of people killed when a
driverless crude oil train derailed and blew up in a small
Quebec town over the weekend as questions grew over how the
disaster had occurred.
The five locomotives and 72 oil cars had been parked about
eight miles from Lac-Megantic on Friday night. The brakes then
somehow released and the train gathered pace as it rolled down a
hill into the center of the town early on Saturday morning.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – The only warning Lac-Megantic residents had of the coming disaster was the louder-than-usual rumble of a train – a runaway locomotive laden with crude oil that would jump the tracks, explode and burn down the center of town.
“I heard a rattle, louder than usual, so I went out on the balcony and I saw the train going at extremely high speed,” said Ghislain Bisson, 52, who was watching late-night television as the train approached. “Then, I saw it. It just left the track and headed right for the building.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec, July 7 (Reuters) – At least five
people died and 40 were missing on Sunday after a runaway train
carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the center of a
small Canadian town in a disaster that raised fresh questions
about shipping oil by rail.
The train was hauling crude in 72 tanker cars from North
Dakota to eastern Canada. It was parked, without a driver, but
then it rolled downhill, gathered speed and derailed on a curve
in the small town of Lac-Megantic at 1 a.m. (0500 GMT) on
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (Reuters) – Canadian police on Sunday raised the death toll from a massive explosion involving a runaway freight train to three and said they expected to find more bodies in the wreckage of a small Quebec town.
The train, which had been hauling crude oil from North Dakota to eastern Canada, derailed and blew up early on Saturday in Lac-Megantic, a town of 6,000 on the edge of a deep blue lake and ringed by forests of pine and birch. There was no driver on board.