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Andy Blatchford , Lac-Mégantic, Que. — The Canadian Press
Last updated Saturday, Jul. 06 2013, 6:03 PM EDT
Lac-Mégantic is part of Quebec’s picturesque Eastern Townships region, close to the border with Maine and Vermont.
A 73-car train carrying crude oil bound for Maine derailed last night, causing massive explosions that "demolished" a large part of the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, forcing evacuation of 1,000 people.
At least one person was dead Saturday after explosions destroyed the heart of a Quebec town, as a driverless freight train transporting crude oil came off the tracks. It was parked on a siding, for a shift change. Some how the brakes became undone, and the tank cars rolled in and derailed in this village.The tanks exploded in the downtown core.
“Our investigators are trying to track down family members, so we can’t give the identity of this person, but at this time we can confirm one person has died,” provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet told a news conference.
Some of the train’s 73 cars exploded and the fire was highly visable and spread to a number of homes. Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette said the 73 cars were filled with crude oil and that four were damaged by fire and the explosions.
A large but undetermined amount of fuel also reportedly spilled into the Chaudiere River. Neighbouring municipalities were warned