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Jul 6, 2013 11:09 AM by Associated Press

Train carrying crude oil derails in Quebec

LAC MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP) - A train carrying crude oil has derailed in a Quebec town, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.

Several people were reported missing after the derailment Saturday morning. Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet says it is too early to say if there are any casualties in the town of Lac Megantic (Lack MAH-Gan-Tic), about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Montreal.

Flames and billowing smoke could be seen for several miles hours after the derailment. Some of the train's 73 cars exploded and the fire spread to a number of homes.

Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette says a large but undetermined amount of fuel also spilled into the Chaudiere River.

The train, reportedly heading toward Maine, belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic.

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