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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.

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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. (Read more Quebec stories.)

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