LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec: A Canadian rail disaster that “probably” killed as many as 50 people was likely the result of an engineer’s failure to set the brakes on an unmanned train owned by a United States (US) railway company, officials said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Twenty people have been confirmed dead and 30 remain unaccounted for with little hope of being found alive following the explosive train crash, Quebec provincial police inspector Michel Forget told reporters.
All 30 people, he said, were “missing and most probably dead in this tragedy,” adding that authorities had met with their families.
“It is with great sadness that I give you this news,” he said.
The confirmed death toll was raised from 15, while 10 people previously reported missing were located. Only one victim has been identified.
The freight train carrying oil crashed on Saturday after rolling down a hill from a nearby town and flying off a curve in the track, sparking a massive inferno that tore through part of Lac-Megantic, a town of 6,000 located east of Montreal near the US border.
The massive blaze forced about 2,000 residents to flee their homes, though many of them started returning on Tuesday.