Crews search for victims in ruins of seniors’ facility

A police investigator slips as they search through icy rubble to trying to locate more victims of a fire that destroyed a seniors' residence Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
A police investigator slips as they search through icy rubble to trying to locate more victims of a fire that destroyed a seniors' residence Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in L'Isle-Verte, Quebec. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

L’ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (AP) — Canadian investigators are picking through the icy rubble of a seniors’ facility in Quebec, trying to identify more victims of the fire that destroyed the facility yesterday morning.

At least five people were killed, and about 30 others are missing.

Sheets of ice and thick icicles now cover what remains of the structure. The sub-freezing temperatures have hampered the recovery effort. A police official says three search teams of police, firefighters and coroners are going through the wreckage, using steam to melt the ice.

The cause of yesterday’s fire is still unclear.

Witnesses have given horrific accounts of seeing people die in the flames. Most of the residents probably never had a chance to escape. Many were over 85, had little or no mobility and were confined to wheelchairs or walkers.

 

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