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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.
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".

Read: 13 killed in Quebec train blast

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'Around 40 missing' after Canada train blast

Five people have been confirmed dead, but many more are missing. Credit: Reuters

About 40 people remain missing a day after a runaway train derailed in Quebec, igniting several fires that destroyed a city centre and killed five people.

More than 30 buildings were destroyed when the derailed train sped downhill into the town and exploded Credit: Reuters

Officials are warning the death toll will rise and there are fears further explosions may occur as two carriages filled with petrol have not ignited, as yet.

Only a small part of the devastated areas have been searched as fire fighters are focusing on ensuring the fires are out.

Local people have been evacuated from their homes as fire fighters work to contain explosion and make the area safe. Credit: Reuters

A coroner's spokeswoman said it may not be possible to recover some of the bodies because of the intensity of the blasts.

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Canadian operator says train air brakes failed in blast

The operator of a train that rolled downhill and careened into a Quebec town, causing a deadly explosion, said the air brakes used to hold the locomotive in place may have been released after the train was parked.

The train had been hauling crude oil from North Dakota to eastern Canada, and was sitting parked, without a driver, outside town when it began to roll downhill, gathered speed and derailed on a curve at 1 am (0500 GMT) on Saturday.

The statement from Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway did not make clear how the brakes had been disengaged, or who could be responsible.

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