Thursday, July 11, 2013


More video footage has emerged in the Lac-Mégantic disaster.  Quebec blues singer Adrien Aubert, a Lac-Mégantic resident, was on his way to the popular Musi-Café in the epicenter when the oil trains exploded, leaving him just about 200 meters from the incineration zone.  "Listen," he says in a phone conversation, "all of downtown is on fire."  He tapes at the perimeter and then further back at higher elevation with other residents. 

Footage of Adrien Aubert performing Power of the Gospel by Ben Harper (lyrics here) at Les Soirées MRG, and which he uploaded in January 2013.

At this time, Canadian news stations are reporting 24 confirmed fatalities, including a 93 year old resident, with 50 feared dead.  Pauline Marois has pledged 60 million dollars in government aide;  residents angrily criticized Edward Burkhardt, CEO of the railroad's parent company, Rail World, Inc., during and following a visit he made to the town.  Mr. Burkhardt now tells CNN reporter Anna Coren that he will "not return to Lac-Mégantic until he is welcome."  In the video at this link (and, as a CBC reporter notes, after the company unsuccessfully blamed the firefighters for doing something to the train when they put out a fire on one of the vehicles earlier in the evening), the CEO blames the engineer, claiming that he could not have applied all of the brakes as he says he did.  

The company reportedly has a long history of accidents.  An investigation is still underway.

As for the water supply, blogged earlier, residents are still under various advisories, including neighboring locales, with the banks of the Chaudiere River and Lake Megantic, the drinking water, as well as the town's sewage system, contaminated.  Globalpost reports 100,000 litres of oil dumped in the Quebec waterways, the shorelines "enveloped by the smell of used motor oil."

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