Le Musi-Café, a popular live music bar in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, appears to have been at the center of this weekend's devastating oil explosions. Saturday at 1AM a train carrying crude oil derailed and plowed into the town, setting off a series of massive explosions and fires. According to CNN, five people have since been confirmed dead and roughly 40 are still missing. Of that number, potentially a great majority were in the Musi-Café: the National Post reports that there were 50 patrons inside the building and another 30 on the outside patio when owner Yannick Gagné left at 12:30 a.m., just 30 minutes before the explosions began.
Gagné tells the Post, "They won't find anyone [alive]. People are waiting for news, but a fire at that temperature... melts cars." Another witness, Ghislain Bisson, tells the Wall Street Journal that he even watched neighbors jumping from second-floor balconies to escape the flames.
According to NBC, the train was hauling 72 tanker cars, each carrying 30,000 gallons of crude oil, from North Dakota to eastern Canada. Despite having been stopped in an overnight parking spot, the train somehow derailed and rolled seven miles downhill around 1 a.m. ET on Saturday, exploding and sending flames hundreds of feet into the air. The resulting fires damaged what CTV now reports to be 40 buildings in Lac-Mégantic's downtown, including Le Musi-Café. Bloomberg reports that the train's black box was recovered over the weekend.
· About 40 still missing after runaway train crashes [CNN]
· 'Wall of fire' engulfed bar [National Post]
· In Quebec, a Night Out Turns Into Nightmare [WSJ]
· Police hope to expand search into hot zone areas around Quebec train blast [CTV]
· All Tragedies Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Canada Coverage on Eater [-E-]