Popular bar, Musi-Café, reopens after being destroyed in explosion

The rebuilding process continues in Lac-Mégantic, Que., with a popular downtown bar set to reopen as police end their search for victims.

50 families in Lac-Mégantic were able to return home Friday

Lac-Mégantic's Musi-Café reopens

The National

7 years agoVideo
Concert seen as a sign of Quebec town's resilience 2:47

The Musi-Café — the downtown Lac-Mégantic bar destroyed in the explosion — will re-open with a concert tonight.

The Musi-Café was destroyed on July 6 when the runaway train carrying oil exploded in the city's downtown. In all, 47 people are dead or missing, including three employees of the Musi-Café.

At a news conference today, Mayor Roy-Laroche called the reopening "a moment in the sun in town's darkest days."

The new Musi-Café is located in the north end of the town, in the form of a tent made from materials donated by local business owners.

Staff are getting ready for tonight's grand re-opening of the Musi-Café in its temporary location. (Thomas Daigle/CBC)

The temporary bar will be open for the next two months and will feature free concerts by Quebec artists, beginning tonight with Fred and Nicolas Pellerin with Les Grands Hurleurs.

Resident Dawn Bramadat said the music venue was a cultural centre for the community.

"It was a place, first of all, where musicians could go — you know, the huge community of musicians here — they could go and be heard and try out their stuff," she said.

"So it’s so incredible that all these wonderful, wonderful performers from around the province are coming and donating their time. It really touches all of us."

Some families go home

Lac-Mégantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche says 50 families forced to leave their homes near the disaster area in the Quebec community have returned home since yesterday with the help of support crews.

More than 100 people had to leave their homes after a deadly train derailment and explosions a month ago. Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board and the police wrapped up their on-the-ground searches for victims yesterday.

Security officials said samples have been taken from the homes and tested to make sure there is no environmental contamination from the oil that spilled and burned.

Search for victims over

The search for victims is ending, although work will continue to identify more victims though elements found at the scene, a spokeswoman for the Quebec coroner's office confirmed.

"We conclude this work today with sincere and profound conviction that we did everything humanly possible to locate the missing," Geneviève Guilbault said at a news conference Thursday morning in the small town in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

Over the last 27 days, the remains of 42 people were located. Of those, 38 have been officially identified by the coroner's office.