Death toll in Lac-Mégantic train disaster rises to 35
9 people publicly identified, 35 bodies found
The Quebec coroner's office released the names of seven more vicitms of the Lac-Mégantic disaster on its website Saturday night. Spokesperson Geneviève Guilbault said the families of the victims had been notified 24 hours before the names were released to the public.
The names of those identified are:
- Frédéric Boutin, 19 years old
- Kathy Clusiault, 24 years old
- Élodie Turcotte, 18 years old
- Yannick Bouchard, 36 years old
- Karine Lafontaine, 35 years old
- Maxime Dubois, 27 years old
- Mélissa Roy, 29 years old
The identity of 93-year-old Éliane Parenteau was first released July 11.
Guilbault said an additional victim has been identified, and that person's name will be released to the public Monday morning.
The bodies of 35 victims have been discovered in the days since the derailment and explosion in the Quebec town of 6,000.
Emergency crews continue to search the red zone — the area most affected by the disaster — for the remaining victims. Of the 50 people missing and presumed dead, 15 are unaccounted for.
At a news conference on Saturday afternoon, Quebec provincial police Insp. Michel Forget said firefighters from more than 60 forces across Canada and the U.S. are assisting in searching the red zone, facing extreme heat and dangerous fumes from contaminated soil.
Forget described the search as being like an "archeological dig," that will likely take weeks of digging through rubble, involving specialized crews.
Forget said firefighters stopped their work in the stifling heat of the disaster zone at noon Saturday to observe a moment of silence for the 50 victims.
"All worked stopped and it was a very emotional moment for them," Forget said.
Last Saturday, the small community in Quebec’s Eastern Townships was rocked by a train derailment and explosion that took out most of the town's centre. The train was carrying more than 70 cars of crude oil.