Bodies recovered slowly in Quebec
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — Transportation workers moved carefully on Friday in and around the site of the nearly week-old derailment that incinerated the heart of this small Quebec town and killed 50 people, searching for evidence that would help explain what led to such destruction.
Police, meanwhile, increased the number of people confirmed killed by four to 28 as the search for remains continued to be slowed by dangerous conditions — this time it was benzene fumes from the contaminated soil, which forced officials to try to ventilate the area.
The other 22 people are presumed dead.
Information and material being put together by investigators includes the track's grade, the train's weight and how many brakes were set shortly before the locomotive and 72 tankers carrying shale oil began rolling down a slope in the early hours of Saturday, gathering speed for seven miles before slamming into the downtown of Lac-Megantic. The crash and ensuing explosions destroyed homes, businesses, a municipal library and the popular Musi-Cafe bar that was filled with people.
“I keep coming back to the Musi-Cafe because I have two children in their 20s, and they could have easily been at a bar like that,” said Wendy Tadros, chairwoman of Canada's Transportation Safety Board. “I'm sorry I cannot do more to relieve your grief.”
It will be months before investigators will be able to draw any conclusions about what happened, Tadros said. Investigators plan to produce a 3D model through laser scanning of images being collected at the scene of the disaster.
Edward Burkhardt, president and CEO of U.S.-based Rail World Inc., which owns the runaway train, has blamed the engineer for failing to set the brakes on the train, which came from North Dakota.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.