LAC MEGANTIC, Quebec: The death toll from the massive explosion caused by a runaway oil tanker train that derailed and flattened part of a small Canadian town has risen to 13, a coroner said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), and dozens more remain missing.
Confirmation of eight further deaths in Lac-Megantic, in Quebec province, came as environmental officials warned that around 100,000 liters of oil spilled in the disaster was headed for the Saint Lawrence seaway.
With the coroner stating that the official toll had more than doubled from the previous count of five, police at a joint press conference said around three dozen people are still missing.
Officials have said they expect the death toll to rise further given the many people yet unaccounted for.
Evacuees meanwhile will be able to return home on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche told reporters.
As many as 1,500 Lac-Megantic residents have been holed up at emergency shelters or staying with friends and family.