Quebec police identify 3 victims of fatal blast at propane company

Click to play video: 'Mass held near site of Quebec propane explosion as 3 remain missing'
Mass held near site of Quebec propane explosion as 3 remain missing
A solidarity mass was held in a town north of Montreal on Sunday where three people remain missing following a fire and explosion at a propane distribution company. Several hundred people were in the pews of the local church as the ceremony began just after 10:30 a.m. in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Que., about 50 kilometres north of Montreal. Global's Elizabeth Zogalis was there – Jan 15, 2023

Quebec provincial police have formally identified the three victims of a fatal blast at a propane company north of Montreal.

Their remains were found Monday at the site of Propane Lafortune in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, located about 50 kilometres north of the city.

The victims are: Céline Pilon, 65, of Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan; France Desrosiers, 65 of Épiphanie and 26-year-old Christophe Paradis from Mascouche.

Read more: Police search for answers at ‘vast’ Quebec propane explosion site where three found dead

The company’s owner had said two of the missing people were employees and the third was a subcontractor.

An explosion and fire engulfed the company’s building on the morning of Jan. 12. Authorities have been searching the scene since the blast.

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Police say the investigation into the explosion is still ongoing.

Mayor Sebastien Marcil said in a statement that the explosion had left residents with three questions: who, why and how?

“The confirmation of the identity of the three missing people today is the answer to one of them and allows us to begin mourning, a step that is as normal as it is essential, seven days after these events,” he said.

Read more: Mass held near site of Quebec propane explosion as three remain missing

He also thanked the investigation teams that have been deployed.

“We hope that all energies can now be devoted to finding answers to the questions that remain and, above all, to the circumstances that led to such an explosion in order to avoid it happening again in the future,” he said.

Read more: Remains of 3 victims found at site of Quebec propane explosion, police say

Viateur Lamarche, who worked at the company for 18 years before retiring in 2020, said he worked with Pilon for around 10 years, describing her as someone who helped her colleagues with their work. He said Desrosiers had been working at the company for at least five years.

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with files from The Canadian Press’ Jacob Serebrin

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