Update: 5 Confirmed Dead in Quebec Train Fire (Video)
Officials have confirmed five deaths so far from a horrific train crash in Quebec province. At least 40 more people are reported missing and, local authorities say, are likely dead. The fire is so intense at the site of the crash that firefighters are having a hard time getting near it.
The train carrying crude oil derailed near the Maine border in the Quebec town of Lac Megantic. The driverless freight train caused several explosions that consumed the busy midtown area with flames. Witnesses say the train derailed at a high rate of speed and exploded, causing a fireball that rose several hundred feet in the air. Local officials told the Associated Press, the explosions sent residents scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of the towering fireballs and a red glow that illuminated the night sky.
The explosions flattened several buildings in the city center, which was crowded with people enjoying the weekend. Lac Megantic is about 155 miles east of Montreal.
Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette says a large but undetermined amount of fuel spilled into the Chaudiere River.
The train reportedly belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic and was head to Maine from South Dakota when it derailed.