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Death toll now put at 50 in Lac-Megantic rail disaster

Death toll now put at 50 in Lac-Megantic rail disaster
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Quebec police are now assuming that all those missing after Saturday’s devastating oil train blast in the town of Lac-Megantic are dead.

It means the number of people who died in the disaster is put at 50 although only 20 bodies have been recovered.

On Wednesday Edward Burkhardt who is the boss of the company who owned the runaway train told hostile residents that he believed the engineer in charge was to blame.

“This was a failure of the brakes. It’s very questionable whether the brakes, the hand brakes were properly applied on this train. As a matter of fact, I’ll say they weren’t.”

Some 200 officers are still searching the site with the heart of the town being treated as a crime scene.

The 2,000 people who had to be evacuated have now been allowed to return to their homes if they have one to go back to.

The disaster happened after a parked train carrying 72 cars of crude oil came free on a sloping stretch of rail line and headed downhill without a driver. The train derailed and blew up flattening the town centre.