POLITICS

19 dead and 13 others missing in fire at Quebec seniors' home

01/29/2014 04:39 EST | Updated 03/31/2014 05:59 EDT
L'ISLE-VERTE, Qc - Nineteen people have now been confirmed dead with another 13 still listed as missing after last week's blaze at a seniors' residence in eastern Quebec.

Provincial police gave the update late Wednesday afternoon as painstaking recovery operations continued at Residence du Havre.

Frigid weather has slowed operations in recent days as emergency crews use special machines to melt thick layers of ice coating the rubble.

The fire last Thursday destroyed a large part of the residence in L'Isle-Verte, about 240 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. No cause has been determined yet.

The residence had 52 units and many of the elderly people who lived there had limited mobility, needing wheelchairs, walkers or canes to get around.

A commemorative ceremony is scheduled in L'Isle-Verte this coming Saturday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed his attendance.