MONSON, Mass (WGGB) — The death toll in Quebec continues to grow after a runaway train — carrying oil — crashed and exploded last weekend.
Fifty people have been found dead thus far. The crash happened Saturday in the small town of Lac Megantic. For one local woman, the tragedy has hit home.
“Still right now I just can not believe what is happening,” Jacinthe Bilodeau of Monson said.
Jacinthe ‘s home is now in Monson but these days her heart aches for her hometown of Lac Megantic.
“My town I would say is just like Monson, it’s a beautiful little town, very quaint,” Jacinthe said. “My family is all there my nieces, my nephew, my brother.”
The train crashed in the center of town last weekend, and burst into flames that quickly spread to a popular bar trapping dozens that are now feared dead. Jacinthe’s nephew had just left that bar an hour before the explosions.
“My nephew and his friend went out and they couldn’t believe what they saw,” Jacinthe said. “There was people coming out and they were catching on fire, screaming, dying, burning alive. I just cannot imagine what he went through.”
Jacinthe says all her family escaped without injury, but it’s not her first brush with disaster. The June 2011 tornado missed Jacinthe home by mere feet. Her family was on vacation for that, so the helpess feeling of wanting to aid the victims and not being able to is nothing new.
“Here’s this happening in my hometown,” Jacinthe said. “Obviously my goodness I so want to be there but they all tell me that I can not be there right now because first of all you can’t help right now.”
Jacinthe says if there’s one thing she can offer, it’s hope for the dark days that lie ahead in her hometown.
“I love my town, I really do, and I hope that they are going to be able to go through this, to make it through and just like here in Monson to get stronger, for sure.”
An international vigil was held Friday night.