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40 still missing in Canadian train wreck

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2013

Investigators still were trying on Monday to locate about 40 people who were involved in a fatal train wreck over the weekend in a small Canadian town.

The official death toll of five hasn't changed, one police spokesman said, but the whereabouts of 40 is still not known, Agence France-Presse said.

"We couldn't search overnight," said Quebec provincial police spokesman Benoit Richard in a Monday press conference. Much of the site is considered "extremely hazardous," he added. The train, which was carting 72 carloads of crude oil, derailed and exploded, causing environmental devastation, and rescuers haven't been able to access all the wreckage, AFP reported.

Emergency responders have finally doused the fire, but it took 18 hours.

The freight train derailed on Saturday, exploding into a wall of fire that devastated nearby homes and businesses, AFP reported. The flames took out more than four blocks of Lac-Megantic's downtown area.

On Monday, a coroner said in a report from The Associated Press that some of the bodies may not be able to be recovered because of the intensity of the blast and fire.

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