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Police order evacuations after train explodes and catches fire in Quebec town

Saturday, July 06, 2013 - 01:24

July 6 - Witnesses describe seeing a ''river of fire'' after a driverless freight train derails and catches fire in Quebec, leaving a number of people feared missing and dead. Karen Hendren reports.

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About 1,000 people evacuated their homes and police set up a 1/2 mile security zone... after a runaway train caught fire in the Canadian lakeside town of Lac-Megantic... sending a fireball hundreds of feet into the air. Police say they have not been able to get close enough to determine the number of victims from the still burning fires. Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway says there have been a number of fatalities and injuries. (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS SAYING: "There was a raucous, it leaped, there were big balls of fire above the cafe. We jumped over the railing, we crossed the street and just in the time it took to cross the street, the street was filled with fire, it was a river of fire." The driverless freight train carrying tankers of petroleum derailed at high speed at about 1 o'clock Saturday morning. Witnesses said the town center was crowded. (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS SAYING: "You could see the train, but it was going so fast you couldn't even see between the cars and there I saw a car lift up. There were some sparks and the car lifted and came to lie on its side in front of me, but I turned around and ran without stopping," Four of the 73 cars caught fire... destroying 30 buildings in the town center.

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Police order evacuations after train explodes and catches fire in Quebec town

Saturday, July 06, 2013 - 01:24