Answers in Quebec Train Blast May Be Months Away

Toll now at 33, with another 17 presumed dead

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 13, 2013 5:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – While the world's attention has now moved to a different train wreck in France, the aftermath of the train blast in Quebec last week worsens, with the official death toll now at 33 after five more bodies were found. Another 17 are presumed dead, bringing the total to 50. The bells of a church in the town of Lac-Megantic, where the disaster occurred, chimed 50 times today to honor their memory, the Canadian Press reports.

The chair of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board says the crash "may well be the most devastating rail accident in Canadian history" and that it will take "months or more" to determine exactly what went wrong, reports the National Post, before going on to nevertheless break down what is believed to have gone down that night. Fingers are still being pointed at the conductor for allegedly not applying enough brakes to secure the 10,000-tonne load of crude oil while he went to sleep in a nearby hotel, as well as firefighters, who shut down the lead locomotive after putting out a small fire, which could have decreased the air pressure in the brakes that were on.

Wecked oil tankers and debris from the runaway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.   (AP Photo/Surete du Quebec, The Canadian Press)
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