It was with great emotion that hundreds of people gathered Sunday morning for a mass to honor the three victims of the blast that took place in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan on Thursday.
• Also read: A mass of solidarity for Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan
• Also read: Explosion in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan: painful wait for families
“Everyone knows everyone, we know everyone who is still missing, it’s a tragedy. We want to show that we are in solidarity with these people we have always known, “says a neighbor of one of the victims, André Henri, who has always lived in the municipality of Lanaudière.
Emotions were palpable in the small church of Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan after Mass began with tears and hugs of support between members of this “close-knit” community.
The community is still in shock after an explosion at the Propane Lafortune facility on Thursday.
“When the songs started, I got goosebumps, we really feel a lot of solidarity,” said Chantale Croteau, a former resident of Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan who came especially for the mass.
A full church
Normally, only about thirty believers attend Sunday Mass in this city of nearly 5,400 people. But on Sunday the church was almost full, a sign that everyone is directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy.
“The motto of our community is ‘Family is our Pride’ and we wanted to come together today as a family to think of those who are still missing as we speak and to say to the families who are experiencing the ‘excruciating wait afterwards going through’ more than three days: “Don’t let go!”, declared the mayor of Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Sébastien Marcil, at the exit of the church, his throat knotted with emotion.
Several federal and provincial elected officials also attended the ceremony to show their support.
“In the face of such a tragedy that will forever mark our memories, we are at a loss for words because we know deep in our hearts that few words can have enough power to ease this pain, this sorrow that you all feel.” said Rep. Montcalm, Luc Theriault.
Three people remain missing since the tragedy: Céline Pilon, France Desrosiers and a subcontractor who was on site at the time of the blast.
The tribute paid on Sunday morning also and above all enabled many to show their support to the families of the victims.
“We cannot imagine what they are going through, but we will be there to support them and help them get through it,” Mr Henri promised.
“Everyone has been upside down since Thursday. I knew who was working there that day, we knew them. We know everyone. They are friends,” Carole Brisebois said a few minutes after the Mass.
According to information from TVA Nouvelles, the Sûreté du Québec, which was at the scene of the tragedy yesterday to survey and secure the crime scene, is now examining the thesis of criminal negligence in the Propane Lafortune explosion.
Some information gathered suggests that there may have been omissions in the work that took place before the explosion.
“Investigators must take legal action to continue their investigative work,” commented Catherine Bernard, spokeswoman for the SQ.
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