Toll Hits 5 in Train Derailment

Officials believe they'll discover more bodies in Quebec accident

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 7, 2013 9:24 AM CDT | Updated Jul 7, 2013 11:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Officials say two more bodies were discovered today after a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed in eastern Quebec, igniting explosions and fires that destroyed a town's center. That brings the confirmed death toll to five. A Quebec provincial police lieutenant said today that fires are preventing rescuers from reaching parts of the train on fire, and that some of the other people who are missing are likely dead. Police are still not saying how many other people are missing.

The eruptions sent residents of Lac-Megantic scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs and a red glow that illuminated the night sky, witnesses said. Flames and billowing black smoke could still be seen long after the 73-car train derailed, and a fire chief likened the charred scene to a war zone. Up to 2,000 people were forced from their homes in the lakeside town of 6,000 people, which is about 155 miles east of Montreal and about 10 miles west of the Maine border. The cause of the accident was believed to be a runaway train, the railway's operator said.

This aerial photo shows a fire in the town of Lac-Megantic as seen from a Sûreté du Québec helicopter Saturday, July 6, 2013 following a train derailment that sparked several explosions in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
This aerial photo shows a fire in the town of Lac-Megantic as seen from a Sûreté du Québec helicopter Saturday, July 6, 2013 following a train derailment that sparked several explosions in Lac Megantic,...   (Uncredited)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000 people....
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation...   (Paul Chiasson)
  (f.duckett)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. The derailment sparked several explosions and forced the evacuation...   (Paul Chiasson)
A police officer watches as smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of...
A police officer watches as smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000...
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000...
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000...
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000...
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after...   (Paul Chiasson)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000...
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. A large swath of Lac Megantic was destroyed Saturday after...   (Paul Chiasson)
Residents wait outside an emergency center for news of family and friends following a train derailment in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, that caused explosions of railway cars carrying crude oil on Saturday, July 6, 2013.
Residents wait outside an emergency center for news of family and friends following a train derailment in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, that caused explosions of railway cars carrying crude oil on Saturday,...   (Paul Chiasson)
A fire keeps burns after railway cars that were carrying crude oil derailed in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Saturday, July 6, 2013.
A fire keeps burns after railway cars that were carrying crude oil derailed in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (Paul Chiasson)
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