Home Breaking News Lac-Megantic train explosion death toll rises to 28

Lac-Megantic train explosion death toll rises to 28

According to Canadian police, 28 bodies have now been found following the train disaster in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic.

Another 22 people are missing and presumed dead after the train carrying oil derailed and exploded in the town.

Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil scheduled for Friday evening was cancelled due to police concerns over large crowds.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes.

The town centre – where large areas have been wiped out – is being treated as a crime scene.

Saturday will mark one week since the disaster.

The train, carrying 72 cars of crude oil, was parked shortly before midnight on Friday in the town of Nantes about 7 miles away.

It later rolled downhill, gathering speed until it derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded.

Officers working in the disaster zone have had “a great deal of difficulty” because of strong petrol fumes, Quebec provincial police spokesman Michel Forget said.

Police say they have identified eight of the recovered bodies.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of Lac-Megantic train blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes

Investigations are continuing into the cause of Lac-Megantic train blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes

One has been named as 93-year-old Elianne Parenteau.

Mourners laid flowers and tributes in memory of those killed at a church near the crash site on Friday.

The town’s mayor cancelled the first vigil planned, saying it would overwhelm the town.

“Our capacity to welcome visitors is really saturated,” Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said.

“We are still in an emergency situation.”

Other vigils are being held across Quebec, including in Montreal, Gatineau and Trois-Rivieres.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois visited Lac-Megantic on Thursday, and criticized the rail company’s response to the crash.

She said Rail World chief executive Edward Burkhart’s attitude was “unacceptable” and “deplorable”.

She also announced a C$60 million ($57 million) fund to help victims and rebuild the town.

Edward Burkhardt revealed on Wednesday that an engineer who was in charge of driving the train had been suspended without pay, after being accused of failing to set a series of hand brakes.

“I understand the extreme anger,” he said.

“We owe an abject apology to the people in this town.”

Authorities have asked the relatives of those still missing to provide DNA samples.

Officials have also warned that some of the bodies may have been burnt to ashes in the explosion.

[youtube 48KzAT0hu6M]