Witnesses reported between four and six explosions overnight in the town of about 6,000 people. The derailment happened at about 1 a.m. ET, about 250 kilometres east of Montreal.
It is not yet known if there are any casualties, but several people have been reported missing and are feared dead.
The teary-eyed mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy-Laroche, said emergency services are doing everything possible to deal with the crisis.
“We have deployed all resources to ensure that we can support our citizens,” she said.
A spokesperson for Quebec’s Environment Ministry says 73 rail cars filled with crude oil were involved.
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