July 6, 2013 / 5:28 PM / in 4 years

Canadian train exploded after conductor parked it: railroad

(Reuters) - The train that derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Canada, had been parked and the conductor was not aboard when “somehow, the train got released,” Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, Inc Vice President Joseph McGonigle said on Saturday.

A cloud of smoke is seen over Lac Megantic after a train explosion, July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

“We’re not sure what happened, but the engineer did everything by the book. He had parked the train and was waiting for his relief,” McGonigle said.

Several people were missing after the 1 a.m. explosion of four tank cars of petroleum products destroyed dozens buildings in the center of the town, town officials said.

Reporting by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Eric Beech

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