50 dead in Canada rail disaster

Canadian police have say they have recovered 20 bodies from the Quebec train disaster, and that the 30 people who remain missing are now all presumed dead.

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One body of Canada rail disaster formally identified

Only one of the bodies recovered by emergency services in the Quebec rail disaster has been formally identified, according to police.

Police inspector Michel Forget said the families of those missing had all now been informed that their loved ones were presumed dead.

Now we are standing here with a number of 50 persons that we are considering most probably dead in this tragedy.

We informed them of the potential loss of their loved ones. You have to understand that it's a very emotional moment, and our thoughts are with these families.

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Police: 60 people missing or dead after train blast

A police officer looks on near the site of the train wreckage in Lac Megantic Credit: REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

The number of people dead or missing after an oil-tanker train exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic has risen to 60 from 50, police said today.

None of the 15 bodies they have found has been identified and few residents hold out hope that any of the missing will be found alive.

Some 200 investigators are sifting through the wreckage of the explosion, which left giant fuel carriages upturned and forced the evacuation of some 2,000 of the town's residents.

Train boss: Engineer suspended from job without pay

Edward Burkhardt, the CEO of Rail World Inc, has said that an employee of the company suspected of failing to engage the brakes of a runaway train has been suspended without pay.

“I don’t think he’ll be back working for us,” he is cited as saying the Montreal Gazette.

On his first visit to the small Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic, where the blast occurred, Mr Burkhardt said it looked "like a war zone".

He also said he believes "there was no sabotage" to the train - something he is reported to have alleged earlier.

Train firm chief believes engineer 'did something wrong'

The head of a Canadian train company has said that one of its engineers is "under investigation" after a runaway fuel train derailed in a town in Quebec causing a fatal blast.

The official said the employee had a clear safety record before the incident, but added: "I think he did something wrong".

He appeared to contest the engineer's claim that he had applied 11 handbrakes.

Watch: Huge explosion after oil train derails in Canada

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Queen sends message of support to Canada blaze town

The Queen has sent a message of support to the people of Canada following an oil train derailment and blaze that killed at least 13 people and wiped out the centre of a small town in Quebec.

Authorities are searching for remains in the wreckage of the crash almost three days after the disaster in the town of Lac-Megantic.

A total of 50 people are still missing, including the 13 unidentified victims, and the death toll is expected to rise.

The fire from the train explosion seen in Lac Megantic, Quebec. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

The Queen said in her message: "It was with profound sadness that I learned of the tragic events that have befallen the town of Lac-Megantic.

"The loss of life and livelihoods has shocked us all. Prince Philip joins me in hoping that in time it will be possible to rebuild both the property and the lives of those who have been affected. My thoughts and prayers are with you all".

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