Nation & World News

‘Devastated’ Quebec Town Waits For Word About Missing

By Mark Memmott on July 8th, 2013

With 40 people still missing after massive explosions Saturday in the center of their town, the people of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, begin the week “with fears that the death toll from a weekend rail disaster could surge,” CBC News writes.

The people there, the news network adds, are devastated by the accident that left the center of the town looking like a war zone. According to The Montreal Gazette, “the city’s downtown core was almost completely destroyed by the blast. It housed a mix of commercial and residential units in historic buildings.”

When Monday dawned, it was known that at least five people had been killed when freight tankers loaded with crude oil derailed and exploded in the small town near the Maine border. “The search for victims in the charred debris has been hampered by the fact two of the train’s cars continued to burn Sunday morning, creating concerns of other potentially fatal explosions,” the CBC says.

It’s hoped that some of those now counted as missing were away from their homes when the tanks exploded and haven’t yet gotten in contact with relatives or authorities.

As for how more than 70 tank cars detached from a locomotive after they were parked several miles from Lac-Mégantic — and then rolled into the town on their own — the investigation continues. There’s word of a fire aboard the locomotive before the tank cars separated and began rolling. The Gazette writes in an editorial that:

“Early reports that the conductor had left the freight train parked unattended — with brakes supposed locked in place — in the nearby town of Nantes, with another conductor expected to take over several hours later, are troubling. Preferable would be more simultaneous transfer of responsibility. As it turns out, five minutes after the conductor left, a fire broke out in one of the locomotives. But while firefighters in Nantes put out the flames and reports last night suggested someone representing the company arrived to inspect the train and found no damage, it still remains to be seen whether proper regulatory procedures were followed — and if they were, whether the inspection failed to detect brake damage possibly caused by the fire.”

The CBC is also live blogging here.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Dean Jones, Herbie’s Driver In Disney Movies, Dies At Age 84

Actor Dean Jones, who starred in The Love Bug, That Darn Cat! and other classic Walt Disney movies, also played the role of Bobby in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.


No Cause For Murder Charges In Arafat’s Death, French Investigators Say

More than two years after accusations arose that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s 2004 death was the result of polonium-210 poisoning, French judges say there isn’t enough evidence.


Lawrence Phillips, seen here in a 2005 photo, has been charged with murder while serving a prison sentence for assault and other charges.

Former NFL Player Lawrence Phillips Charged With Murder

The new charges filed against the onetime St. Louis Rams running back stem from the death of his fellow inmate at the Kern Valley State Prison in California this past spring.


5 Chinese Military Ships Spotted Off Alaska’s Coast

The vessels from China’s navy have been operating in international waters in the Bering Sea, U.S. officials tell The Wall Street Journal.


Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore following her refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky.

Here’s What We Know About The Kentucky Clerk Refusing Marriage Licenses

Kim Davis, a born-again Christian, has been divorced three times. When she won her seat for Rowan County clerk, she took over from her mother, who held the position for 37 years.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments