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Death toll at 13 in Canada train derailment

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Toronto, Jul 8 (EFE).- The Quebec Provincial Police said Monday that the death toll in the train derailment and explosion in the eastern Canadian town of Lac-Megantic now stands at 13 after eight more bodies were discovered.

Police also raised the number of missing in the Saturday morning disaster from 40 to 50.

The spokesman for the Provincial Police, Benoit Richard, said at a press conference that the additional eight bodies were located in areas of Lac-Megantic which rescue and recovery teams had not been able to access until Monday.

Richard added that he would not identify the exact spots where human remains were recovered, "out of respect for their relatives."

Authorities also confirmed that the majority of the people killed when the trail derailed and blew up in the center of town will have to be identified by DNA tests, adding that relatives of anyone missing after the incident had been contacted to provide DNA samples.

After the derailment, some of the train's 72 cistern cars - which were carrying petroleum - exploded, destroying about 30 buildings in downtown Lac-Megantic.

One of the ruined buildings where more victims could be found is the popular Musi-Cafe bar, which - according to one survivor - had between 30 and 50 people inside it at the time of the blast.

On Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the town and said that it looked "like a war zone."

Lac-Megantic has about 6,000 residents and is located 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Montreal.

The company that owns the train, Montreal Main & Atlantic Railway, said that it was parked without an engineer on the outskirts of the town awaiting a shift change but then - for reasons that are not yet known - it began moving.

A woman who witnessed the accident told local media that the train was already in flames an hour before it derailed in the center of town.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130708/death-toll-at-13-canada-train-derailment