NEWS

Vigils held across Quebec for Lac-Mégantic victims

07/13/2013 07:59 EDT | Updated 09/12/2013 05:12 EDT
Vigils in Lac-Mégantic, Montreal and in other communities across Quebec were held Friday night to mourn the victims of last Saturday’s train explosion.

So far, 28 bodies have been found, though only one of the victims has been identified to the public. Twenty-two people are missing and presumed dead.

About 100 people held candles and sat silently at Place d’Armes in downtown Montreal Friday evening.

In Lac-Mégantic, a quiet vigil at Ste-Agnès church started around 8 p.m.

Last Saturday, the small town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships was rocked by a train derailment and explosion that took out most of the town's centre.

One of the vigils planned for Friday night, at the Montignac high school, was cancelled for security reasons.

Still, a number of residents showed up at the church to commemorate the friends and family members they and their community lost.

Lac-Mégantic Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said she was “very touched” by the outpouring of support from other areas of Quebec, though she encouraged people to gather to grieve privately.

“We’re trying to survive, we’re keeping on, life goes on,” said Patrick Champagne-Madore, who attended the vigil with his sister and two others.

He said it was important to him to support his fellow residents through these trying times.

The Ste-Agnès church bells will ring 50 times at noon Saturday in memory of the 50 victims, followed by a minute of silence.

It will be followed by a benefit concert from 1 p.m. to midnight at the Lambton hotel, near Lac-Mégantic. Tickets are $5.

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