Canada: Investigators search for missing seven after Montreal fire

Security and rescue officials in Montreal, Canada said that they were beginning to launch a search for seven missing people feared buried under the rubble of a heritage building. Fire engulfed theh site last week.

As workers took steps to secure the three-storey structure, flowers were left by citizens across courtyard of the building. The three storey structure remained inaccessible to firefighters and police as of Sunday morning.

It took more than 100 firefighters to contain the fire at the building, which broke out on Thursday morning and left several injured, said Marie-Eve Beausoleil, a spokesperson for the city’s fire department, the Service de securite incendie de Montreal.

The fire’s cause is unknown. Authorities are investigating whether this was an act of arson.

Montreal Police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant said investigators had reason to believe there were victims inside.

Apartments in the building were used both by long-term residents and guests who were staying there short-term after booking lodgings through Airbnb, Beausoleil said on Saturday.

Late on Saturday night, Montreal fire operations chief Martin Guilbault said that fire crew were to begin dismantling of parts of the building on Sunday. This is being done in order for investgators to continue their search and determine why the fire started.

(With inputs from agencies)

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