Shock, grief and anger in Lac-Mégantic

Caption: ??? Photo: Thierryehrmann, Abode Of Chaos, Flickr

Downtown on fire
Photo: Thierryehrmann – Creative Commons, Flickr

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun

Level 2

A train crashed in Lac-Mégantic. It happened in July.
The train was hauling crude oil.
The train track ran through the middle of town.
The train slid off the track. It caught fire. It exploded.

Read the PDF. Try the Exercise.

The fire was very hot. Most of downtown burned.
Oil spilt into the lake and the river.
Forty-seven people died. Many more were injured. Many lost their homes.

The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway owned the train.
The cost to clean up will be huge.
The company does not have enough money.

Prime Minister Harper looks at the damage. Photo: PMWebphotos, Flickr

Prime Minister Harper looks at the damage.
Photo: PMWebphotos – Creative Commons, Flickr

Prime Minster Harper hugs a survivor. Photo: PMWebphoto, Flickr

Prime Minster Harper hugs a survivor.
Photo: PMWebphoto – Creative Commons, Flickr

A memorial service was held for the whole town. Photo: PMWebphotos, Flickr

A memorial service was held for the whole town.
Photo: PMWebphotos – Creative Commons, Flickr

People without homes had to stay at the high school.
Friends and neighbors bought food, diapers, toys and clothes.

Lac-Mégantic was a beautiful little town in Quebec.
Everyone lost someone in the fire.
Residents of Lac-Mégantic are angry, frustrated and sad.

TV and Daisy Photo: Alain Dubois, Flickr

TV and Daisy
Photo: Alain Dubois – Creative Commons, Flickr

A house destroyed by the fire left only this TV.
The daisy symbolizes patience and simple beauty.

Now the town must clean up and re-build.
People must grieve. The town is quiet.

Thomas Argouin wrote a song about the tragedy.
The song is called “À ceux qui restent”.
In English this means “To those who remain.”
The song is for sale to raise money to help the town of Lac-Mégantic.

Listen to the song “À ceux qui restent” in the video below: