Lac-Mégantic toll of dead, missing confirmed at 47

Forty-seven people are now confirmed dead or missing following a train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Que. said Sûreté du Québec's Insp. Michel Forget.

Police and coroner confirm 47 dead or missing, and 42 bodies already recovered

Specialized equipment being delivered to Lac-Mégantic from Montreal is required to move tankers so investigators can continue searching for missing people. (CBC)

Forty-seven people are now confirmed dead or missing following a train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Que., said Sûreté du Québec Insp. Michel Forget.

The number is down from the original 50 victims said to be dead or presumed dead.

Forget said a lengthy and detailed investigation led them to lower the number of victims, though they have yet to recover all the bodies.

The identities of two more of the dead — David Lacroix-Beaudoin, 27, and Stéphane Bolduc, 37 — were confirmed on Friday. Thus far, 19 of the victims have been identified.

The second phase of the recovery process in the devastated town will begin Sunday, once specialized equipment being sent from Montreal arrives.

A crane will be used to move train tankers so that crews can search the rubble underneath and around them in efforts to recover the remains of the last five people.

Forget told the media Friday afternoon that crews will be redeployed and repositioned based on information police received indicating where more bodies may be located.

"No brick will be left unturned," Forget said.

Quebec will help Lac-Mégantic business owners

Earlier in the day, Quebec Economic Development Minister Élaine Zakaib announced two new measures from the province for Lac-Mégantic victims.

Self-employed workers, businesses and organizations that have no income as a result of the disaster will receive a tax-exempt "subsistence allowance" of $5,000.

The province will also help the town pay for moving businesses that were destroyed into temporary buildings.

The mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy-Laroche, accompanied Zakaib during the Friday afternoon news conference.

She also explained her plans to build a temporary downtown area so that business owners can open up shop again.

Roy-Laroche underlined her and the residents of Lac-Mégantic’s desire to have commerce eventually return to the original downtown area.