Canadian police said that 30 people still missing after a fiery train derailment in the village of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, are “most probably dead” and that families should prepare for the worst. The missing bring the final death count to 50 in the tragic accident, which occurred when at least five cars of a derailed oil train exploded in the middle of the village, destroying 30 buildings and displacing 2,000 people. The accident was the fourth worst train disaster in Canadian history, and has raised questions about the rise of railroad transport for oil, which has recently become a booming industry in Canada.
Officials have confirmed that Elianne Parenteau, 93, is one of the 24 confirmed dead following the train derailment that set off a series of explosions in Lac-Mégantic's busy downtown core.
The remains of four more victims were recovered on Thursday. About 26 more are unacounted for and believed to be dead.
Yesterday, families with relatives still missing were told by police to prepare for the worst.
Insp. Michel Forget of the Quebec provincial police said crews have finished searching half of the disaster site. He said the remaining portion was the hardest hit by the explosions.
A temporary memorial site for the victims will open on Friday at one of the local churches, the eglise Ste-Agnès.
The church will be open day and night, according to Mayor Roy-Laroche, and she invited families to visit and bring souvenirs or flowers in memory of their loved ones.
"The town is doing everything it can to help residents return to their normal — of course it's relative when I say "normal" — lives as soon as possible," Roy-Laroche said.