UPDATE: The death toll now stands at 20 for what is being called "Canada's worst railway catastrophe in almost 150 years." 30 people are still missing, and are believed to be dead.
Firefighters are continuing to battle hotspots in a Quebec town decimated by a massive oil tanker train derailment over the weekend. As many as 73 tanker cars came loose from a locomotive and went careening downhill into the town of Lac-Megantic. Almost every car was carrying oil, and at least five of the cars exploded upon impact. Five bodies have been found amid the devastation, and a reported 40 people, mostly locals residents, are still missing.
The resulting devastation from the crash and explosions was massive, with early reports calling the town “destroyed.” Today, firefighters are still cautiously working their way through the city, putting out flare-ups and ensuring pools of oil don’t combust. Search efforts to find missing people have been slowed since the area is considered too dangerous.
As many as 30 buldings in Lac-Megantic have been completely destroyed. As many as 6,000 residents were evacuated in the hours after the crash.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway. Early reports say the train’s brakes may be the cause. This is the fourth freight train accident involving oil in Canada this year.