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Deadly Rail Explosion Rekindles Rail Vs. Pipeline Debate

Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Saturday, July 6, 2013. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Investigators in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, are searching for at least 40 missing people after a train transporting oil derailed and exploded over the weekend.

The explosion effectively incinerated the center of the town, which sits near the Maine border. Authorities are also struggling to identify the five people killed in the blaze.

Investigators have not yet determined how the train came loose after being parked outside the town, allowing it to speed nearly seven miles downhill into the town, where at least five of the cars exploded.

The tragic incident raises questions about how oil is shipped across countries and continents and reignites the debate over whether pipelines are safer than railways.

Guest:

  • Jeremy Van Loon, Calgary bureau chief and energy reporter for Bloomberg News.

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