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Crude Oil Train Derailment Prompts Massive Evacuation in Canada

"It was total mayhem...people not finding their kids."

Photo credit: Radio-Canada

Up to 1,000 people were forced to evacuate after a train carrying crude oil derailed in a Quebec town early Saturday morning, triggering explosions and a massive fire.

Photo credit: Radio-Canada

Witnesses reported several explosions in the town of Lac-Megantic, about 155 miles east of Montreal, CBC News reported.

According to Radio Canada, at least 60 people have been reported missing.

Resident Zeph Kee said he saw a large fireball in the distance and homes and buildings that had been completely flattened by the force of the blasts.

"It was total mayhem...people not finding their kids," he told CBC.

Photo credit: Sûreté du Québec

The Associated Press reported some of the train's 73 cars exploded, with the fire spreading to a number of homes in the 6,000-person town. The cause of the derailment was not known.

"It's terrible," Lac-Megantic resident Claude Bedard told the AP. "We've never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone."

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