Train With Crude Oil Derails, Explodes

Several missing, 1K evacuated in Quebec town

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 6, 2013 11:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Train cars carrying crude oil through a small town in Quebec derailed last night, setting off huge explosions that forced the evacuation of 1,000 and left several people missing, reports the CBC. About 30 buildings in the heart of Lac Megantic were destroyed by the explosions and resulting fire, reports the Globe and Mail. The town is about 150 miles east of Montreal, and firefighters from the US were at the scene helping.

“As mayor, when you see the majority of your downtown destroyed like that, you’ll understand we’re asking how we’re going to survive it,” says Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche. A large amount of oil reportedly spilled into the Chaudiere River, though details on that and most other aspects of the damage were sketchy. At least four cars on the 73-car train exploded, say authorities.

Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil through Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil through Lac Megantic, Quebec.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil through Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil through Lac Megantic, Quebec.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Smoke rises from railway cars that derailed in Lac Megantic, Quebec.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
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A YouTube video of the scene.   (YouTube)

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