37 dead from Canadian rail accident; oil cleanup to begin soon

15 July 2013 21:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Canadian authorities have now recovered 37 bodies from the 6 July derailment and explosion of a runaway train that was carrying crude oil in Lac-Mégantic, a spokesperson from the Québec police said on Monday.

The search continues for those still reported missing, and crews are working inside the area to determine the cause of the incident, but temperatures in the fire zone are still “real hot”, said Benoit Richard of the Sûreté du Québec.

The Montreal, Main & Atlantic Railway (MMA) train was stopped in Nantes and later rolled downhill into Lac-Mégantic, where it derailed and exploded. It was carrying 100 tons of crude oil, resulting in a spill in the Chaudière River.

Québec’s central government operations said on Saturday that response teams have begun assessing the state of the river banks and that cleaning will begin soon.

Several cities have issued notices restricting or cautioning the use of drinking water. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) has advised farmers who raise cattle near the river to not use it in any manner.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident. TSB chair Wendy Tadros said the agency is still in the initial phase of the investigation.

The city of Lac-Mégantic has opened a service centre for people in need of assistance, and an informational meeting has been scheduled on Tuesday for those who are still evacuated.

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By: Tracy Dang
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