July 11, 2013 8:31 pm
Updated: July 4, 2014 2:56 pm

Death toll climbs to 24 after Lac-Megantic mayor lashes out at railway exec Burkhardt

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Watch above: Federal inspectors on site in Lac-Megantic on Thursday

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. – Four more bodies have been found in Lac-Megantic, Que.

The grim discovery today brings the official death toll to 24.

However, police say the number of dead is likely much higher. They say there are 50 people missing and they are all presumed dead.

Read more: ‘There is no hope,’ investigator tells mother of 28-year-old feared dead in Lac-Megantic

Police have released the first name of a victim: 93-year-old Elianne Parenteau.

They are warning people to stay away from the closed-off downtown core – which is considered a crime scene.

They say they arrested someone, a 53-year-old-man from outside the region, for stepping into what they’re calling the “red zone.”

Gallery: Dramatic photos from the ‘red zone’ in Lac-Megantic


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Earlier Thursday, the mayor of Lac-Megantic lashed out at the railway executive whose company is at the heart of last weekend’s fatal train derailment.

Colette Roy-Laroche says Edward Burkhardt was meant to meet her yesterday afternoon but that someone called 30 minutes before the scheduled get-together to say he couldn’t make it.

Roy-Laroche held a news conference this afternoon and expressed her anger at the attitude of the chairman of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.

Burkhardt visited the town yesterday and held an impromptu news conference in which he blamed a company engineer for the tragedy.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois also criticized Burkhardt during her visit to Lac-Megantic. Watch the video below:

Earlier today, a civil security spokeswoman said another 600 Lac-Megantic residents are being allowed home, meaning only 200 will still be homeless.

Watch: Lac-Megantic Fire Chief Denis Lauzon says oil tankers that are still full in the epicentre are being monitored 

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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