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

Hillary Clinton’s Use Of Personal Email At State Dept. Raises Questions

The arrangement circumvented a process that could have automatically preserved Clinton’s email communications in government archives.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington on Monday.

Netanyahu To Outline Iran Threats In Much-Anticipated Speech To Congress

The Israeli premier’s remarks are a culmination of a controversy that began in January with he was invited — without input from the White House — to make the speech.


Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters fire artillery during clashes with ISIS militants in Salahuddin province. The push to retake Tikrit is being aided by Iran, which is providing rockets and other support to Iraq.

With Iran’s Help, Iraqi Force Pushes Toward ISIS-Held Tikrit

A local source says that Iran, which has already been aiding Iraq with artillery and intelligence support, has sent fighters to help take the city of Tikrit.


People view a memorial to a man killed by police on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The police say two officers who were at the scene were wearing body cameras.

LAPD Shooting Update: Two Body Cameras, And A Gun Malfunction

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck are calling for calm and patience, as three investigations are underway into the police killing of a homeless man Sunday.


Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Low-income riders can now qualify for a program that will slash their fares by more than half of peak rates. But the cost will be offset by fare increases for everybody else.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments