Lac Megantic officials discuss disaster response time

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Nearly one year after a train derailed and crashed into the Canadian town of Lac Megantic, officials are looking back at the emergency response and sharing what worked during their response, and what they've learned since the disaster.

The derailment and following explosion left the downtown in ruins. Forty buildings were destroyed and forty-seven people were killed, eight of those victims remain unidentified.

A panel including Quebec's top public safety members, and a member of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency spoke at a two day conference on Emergency Preparedness.

Lt. Daniel Campagna, Police Director of Quebec's Granite County, says it will likely take the town another decade to recover, but what they've learned from the tragedy is just how important mutual aid is, even when it comes from another country.

Frankiln County sent a number of different departments to help during the disaster. Even with a language barrier, officials say that mutual aid made all of the difference in fighting such a dense fire.

A new downtown is being built in a different section of town. Tests are also constantly being done on the soil and water to keep an eye on the level of contamination in the area.


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