Photos: Aftermath of Lac-Megantic Quebec Train Disaster
Reuters reported that at least 15 were killed and 35 missing in the Lac-Megantic train disaster.
The owner of the runaway train is Montreal, Maine & Atlantic.
The Canadian Press reported that Quebec provincial police Insp. Michel Forget revealed that police are not leaning towards terrorism as a hypothesis, but are more likely exploring the possibility of criminal negligence; and the result is that the down town core of Lac-Megantic falls within a security perimeter and trespassers could be charged with obstructing justice if they venture into what police are calling “the red zone.”
Rail-company officials and residents who need to go to the site will have to get a police escort.
The disaster began late Friday night, when the 73-car train loaded with a cache of crude oil was parked on a siding slope at Nantes train yard.
Somehow the oil tanker train broke free and rolled about 11 kilometres into Lac-Megantic, before it derailed and exploded shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, causing a huge explosion and deadly ball of flame, turning the lakeside community into a charred war zone.
The oil has polluted the nearby Chaudiere River, where about 100,000 litres of oil have spilled.
Lac-Megantic, the town of about 6,000 people has lost most of its down town including with a library, a waterfront park, and dozens of homes and businesses.
Meanwhile, Lac-Megantic’s mayor said Tuesday that about 1,200 residents were being allowed home.