Digital Diary: Mass devastation in Lac-Megantic after train derails, explodes in town
The CTV National News team setting up a temporary newsroom in a fabric store shut due to the disaster. (Lisa LaFlamme/CTV News)
Published Monday, July 8, 2013 6:46PM EDT
Lisa LaFlamme and the CTV National News team are in Lac-Megantic, Que. where they will broadcast the news live Monday night.
More from Lisa LaFlamme:
A woman told me today: in this town it feels like the day after the world ended.
It is a harsh contrast to drive through Quebec's idyllic cottage country and arrive in the scarred and smouldering town of Lac-Megantic.
A native word, Megantic means "place where the fish are held." It has for centuries been a destination for nourishment of the body and soul. A summer tourist haven. After the disaster though, the cottage renters left or cancelled leaving media from around the world to fill the cabins and try and fill in the blanks of what happened here.
About 3.5 hours from Montreal, the town is tucked into a corner of this province surrounded by farms and forests - and now grief.
Driving beside the tracks between Nantes, where the ghost train started rolling to Lac-Megantic where it landed like a bomb, it is eerie to imagine it gaining speed in the quiet night, unmanned and unrelenting.
The plume of smoke I watched on television all weekend is now gone but the black cloud still hangs low.
The downtown core is cordoned off. People stand behind a red police line with binoculars and kleenex.
Our crew is set up in a fabric store, temporarily closed due to the disaster.
Police said Monday afternoon that they have found 13 bodies, and about 37 people are still reported missing.
The Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, is posting horrific pictures from the centre of the wreckage on its Flickr site.
We’ll have more tonight on CTV National News.