|13 Dead, 50 Missing in Train Crash|
|By GIO BENITEZ (@GioBenitez) , MATTHEW LAROTONDA (@mattlarotonda) and COLLEEN CURRY||Jul 8, 2013, 12:11 PM|
At least 13 people have been confirmed dead in the devastating oil train accident that happened in Quebec, Canada, and the death is expected to rise, officials said today.
The number of missing people was now "around 50." Earlier, they said the number of missing was around 40 individuals.
Investigators said they are still working to locate the missing people. The bodies that have been found were burned to "just bones," police said today.
The town of Lac-Megantic, east of Montreal, was consumed by fire on Saturday when a cargo train parked uphill from the town broke free, barrelled towards it and derailed. The 73-car train carried up to 1 million gallons of crude oil that ignited when the train derailed, causing a fireball that engulfed the town.
Rescue workers are still hoping to make their way through the smoldering rubble to locate the missing individuals, many of whom are believed to have been at a local bar, Le Musi-Cafe, when the crash happened. Benoit said he expects the death toll to rise once they get to the site of the bar.
Investigators could not reach the bar site because of still-smoldering hot spots, he said.
The derailment caused fires throughout the town that devastated more than 30 buildings and sent up to 2,000 residents fleeing.
"My aunt, her house was burned down. She's 93. She didn't have time to get out of there," schoolteacher Ann-Julie Hallee, a Lac-Megantic resident, told ABC News.
Hallee said she believed some of her students had been at the bar.
"You see those big tank cars, and it's like, OK, when is it going to happen? You know? When is this catastrophe going to happen?" Hallee said. "And then it happened. It happened. It's crazy. I'm sorry."
Investigators have recovered two black boxes from the train since the crash and are working to determine how the crash occurred, they said Monday.
The railway company responsible for the train, Rail World Inc., said that the train's engineer had put the proper brakes on the train when parking it uphill of Lac-Megantic. The company said that a locomotive shutdown might have released the train's airbrakes that were supposed to hold it in place overnight, setting it free on the tracks.