Death toll in Canadian train disaster now stands at 35
(CNN) — Two more bodies have been found at the site of last week’s devastating train derailment in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, authorities said.
The death toll now stands at 35, with 15 people missing, Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet told reporters on Sunday.
The accident left Lac-Megantic reeling and facing a big job of rebuilding. It also shocked and outraged the rest of the country and prompted a national discussion on rail safety.
The 73-car train had been parked in the neighboring town of Nantes for the night and its engineer had gone to a hotel.
The train got loose and slammed into the center of the town on Saturday, July 6. Tank cars full of oil exploded and burned in the heart of Lac-Megantic’s commercial district.
Along with the deaths, around 40 buildings were leveled and other nearby structures were affected.
Crews demolished a couple of unstable buildings, a move that aided their search for more remains, Brunet said. He said explosives were not used in the demolition. There’s a possibility that bodies could be found at those locations.
“The crews are doing everything they can to find the bodies,” Brunet said.
Three firefighters received minor injuries, Brunet said Sunday, and they were treated at the scene. One worker pumping liquid from a tank car blacked out and was taken to a hospital.
He said hot temperatures were brutal and slowed down workers, but they were regularly relieved in shift rotations. About 60 cars are on their sides at the scene.
The strewn train cars haven’t been moved yet, but that job will be done gradually in the coming days.
“There are still 60 cars that are on their side. They have to be moved one by one,” he said. “We don’t know what we’re going to find in those cars.”