The mayor of Lac-Megantic in Quebec says the center of the lakeside town has been all-but destroyed after a train carrying crude oil derailed today, setting off several explosions and fires.
Several people have been reported missing, and officials say at least one person has been declared dead.
The town is close to the border with Maine and Vermont, about 150 miles east of Montreal.
Flames and billowing smoke could be seen for several miles hours after the derailment. Some of the train's 73 cars exploded and the fire spread to a number of homes.
Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette says a large but undetermined amount of fuel also spilled into the Chaudiere River.
The train, reportedly heading toward Maine, belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic.