Freight Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails, Explodes in Canadian Town (VIDEO)

Takepart.com

The Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic was the scene of a major environmental disaster this morning when a freight train carrying crude oil derailed and then caught fire.

Fireballs, one after the other, were sent soaring into the night sky as locals were evacuated from their homes.

At least one person has been confirmed dead, several dozen more are missing and over 30 buildings in the town have been leveled in the explosions.

A large but undetermined amount of fuel also spilled into the nearby Chaudière River, posing a threat not only to the water itself, but neighboring municipalities who may be using it.

Macleans reports Canadian officials are monitoring the town's air and water quality while emergency crews do their best to contain the blaze.

Photos of the destruction, many taken by locals, are trickling in from Twitter.

Horrific. RT@cath_cullen: Another incredible photo of explosion in Lac-Megantic via @rc_estrie: pic.twitter.com/v6aGCFJuzj

— Remo Zaccagna (@CH_RemoZaccagna) July 6, 2013

Remarkable photo of explosion in Lac-Megantic via @rc_estrie: pic.twitter.com/eNRogjHWR7

— Catherine Cullen (@cath_cullen) July 6, 2013

Train derailment in Lac-Mégantic QC causes BIG explosions. Over 1000 homes evacuated, several people reported missing pic.twitter.com/tixJeJsXnV

— Your Anon News (@YourAnonNewsCOM) July 6, 2013

Train derailment heart of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec's Eastern Townships forces 1000's from homes http://t.co/qEgED2FIwb pic.twitter.com/Vg9tRW3uYX

— HabsHappy (@HabsHappy) July 6, 2013

PHOTO: Balls of fire fill the sky above Canadian town Lac Megantic after a train carrying crude oil exploded pic.twitter.com/ocKyQAvpYO

— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) July 6, 2013

#déflagration #LacMégantic Photo prise de l'hélicoptère de la Sûreté du Québec : pic.twitter.com/wbsmrTMMmb

— Sûreté du Québec (@sureteduquebec) July 6, 2013

Dévastation ;(( Des photos spectaculaires de l’explosion à #LacMégantic – Petit Petit Gamin http://t.co/ktIEWKmOsV pic.twitter.com/RvhMXossRh

— Jacques Morissette (@jamaislu) July 6, 2013

Do you think this disaster will do anything to curb our dependence on fossil fuels, or will it be written off as an unfortunate accident? Let us know in the Comments.

Related stories on TakePart:

View Comments (12)