Death toll rises in Canada train derailment

The death toll has risen to five with 40 people still missing after a runaway train containing crude oil exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, police say.

Maine officials received a request for help around 3 a.m. ET on Saturday when the train, which was pulling over 70 tankers, derailed and burst into flames.

The ensuing blast rocketed a fireball and smoke into the air, with around 30 nearby buildings in the town obliterated by the blast.

Police spokesman, Michel Brunet, said the authorities were still trying to account for dozens of missing people.

“There are about 40 people, more or less, who are considered to be missing,” Mr Brunet told reporters. “There could be more, there could be less.”

Lac-Megantic fire chief, Denis Lauzon, added that two of the five cars which exploded were still ablaze nearly 36 hours after the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train derailment.

It is feared that the death toll from Saturday’s blast will continue to rise.

Fireball blasts into the sky above Lac Megantic
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