Lac Megantic Marks Five Years Since Rail Disaster That Killed 47 People

July 5, 2018 5:59 pm Last Updated: July 5, 2018 5:59 pm

MONTREAL—The Quebec town at the heart of a rail disaster that killed 47 people is marking the five-year anniversary of the tragedy.

On July 6, 2013, a runaway train hauling tanker cars loaded with volatile crude oil broke loose and barrelled into Lac-Megantic’s downtown core, before derailing and exploding.

A march is to be held tonight and a commemorative mass will take place Friday ahead of the pealing of bells at noon.

The former mayor of the town of 6,000 is reminded of the tragedy on a daily basis.

For Colette Roy Laroche, each time she hears a train whistle, it brings her back to that disastrous night.

Roy Laroche tells The Canadian Press she has mixed emotions as she marks five years with the rest of the town—profound sadness at the loss of life but comfort at the idea of people coming together and rising above such tragic circumstances.