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Death toll may rise in Canadian train wreck

(CNN) – Tank cars filled with crude oil continue to burn and the death toll is expected to rise 36 hours after a runaway train exploded in a small Canadian town, local police said Sunday.

At least five people were killed and around 40 people are listed as missing in the tiny lakeside town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, local police spokesman Lt. Michel Brunet said in a news conference. The bodies are heavily burned and have been sent to Montreal for identification. Brunet said “we know that there will be many more” deaths.

Firefighters are still working to extinguish two burning tank cars that are at risk of exploding, said Lac-Megantic Fire Chief Denis Lauzon. Firefighters have to stay 500 feet away from the tankers still on fire.

The train, pulling more than 70 tankers of crude oil, had been parked for the night 7 miles away from Lac-Megantic, according to a statement from the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. It slipped downhill, derailed, then crashed into downtown, leveling dozens of homes and buildings. Tankers exploded, sending thick plumes of smoke into the night sky.



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