Canada Train Deaths Rise

Created: 2013-07-10 00:36 EST

Category: World > North America

At least 13 people are now known to have perished in the small Canadian town of Lac-Megantic when a runaway oil tanker train derailed and exploded.

Police are trying to account for dozens more still missing.

[Benoit Richard, Police Spokesman]:
"We are still talking about around more or less 40 people who are reported missing that we don't know their whereabouts."

The rail company which operated the train said airbrakes that would have stopped it rolling into the town had failed.

A locomotive left running to power the brakes was switched off by fire crews called to an earlier engine fire.

As the air brakes slowly disengaged the driverless train rolled downhill, followed by 72 tanks of crude oil and catastrophic consequences for Lac-Megantic.

Few residents say they expect any of the missing to be found alive.