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Death toll grows to 38 in Canadian runaway train catastrophe

By Michael Martinez and Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley, CNN
updated 10:56 PM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Crews recovered three more bodies from train crash in Lac-Megantic
  • Unmanned train was parked in neighboring town of Nantes on July 6
  • Tank cars of oil exploded in heart of commercial district

(CNN) -- The death toll grew to 38 on Tuesday as crews recovered three more bodies in last week's devastating train derailment in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, said Genevieve Guilbault, spokeswoman for the Quebec coroner's office.

An unmanned 73-car train that had been parked in the neighboring town of Nantes on July 6 suddenly rolled into motion after the engineer went to a hotel.

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The train slammed into the center of Lac-Megantic, and tank cars full of oil exploded and burned in the heart of the commercial district.

The rail company said the train's engineer failed to set the brakes properly, but the engineer said he reported to managers that he set 11 hand brakes on the train cars before they broke away from their engines.

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