LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec – Crowds are packing a church in a Quebec town to remember the 47 people who were killed there a year ago when a runaway oil train derailed and exploded.
Early Sunday morning, about 1,000 people marched in a solemn procession and observed a minute of silence at 1:15 a.m., the exact moment when the fuel-laden train exploded in cataclysmic fireballs devastating the center of Lac-Megantic.
Later, first responders who battled the inferno were applauded as they entered Ste-Agnes Church in long lines.
Framed photographs of the victims and floral bouquets were displayed at the front of the church, near the crash site.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper marked the first anniversary of the tragedy in a statement by noting "the resilience, determination and extraordinary strength of character" of Lac-Megantic residents.