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Nation & World

Police: Train crash death toll at 20

A police officer approaches an angry resident yelling at Ed Burkhardt, president of Rail World Inc., who was speaking Wednesday in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A Rail World oil train derailed Saturday in the town, killing at least 20 people.
A police officer approaches an angry resident yelling at Ed Burkhardt, president of Rail World Inc., who was speaking Wednesday in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. A Rail World oil train derailed Saturday in the town, killing at least 20 people.

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP) – Canadian officials told distraught families Wednesday that 30 people still missing after the fiery crash of a runaway oil train are all presumed dead.

Along with 20 bodies found, that would put the death toll from Saturday’s derailment and explosions in this lakeside town at 50.

Hours before that somber meeting, the head of the U.S. railway company whose train crashed made his first visit to Lac-Megantic since the disaster, amid jeers from residents and criticism from politicians, including the Quebec premier.

The rail chief blamed the engineer for failing to set the brakes properly before the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train hurtled down a seven-mile incline, derailed and ignited. All but one of the 73 cars was carrying oil, and at least five exploded.

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