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A layer of crude oil lies on the surface of La Chaudiere River as it flows from the town of Lac Megantic, Quebec, July 7, 2013. A driverless freight train carrying tankers of petroleum products derailed at high speed and exploded into a giant fireball in the middle of the small Canadian town of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday, destroying dozens of buildings.The death toll, currently five, could rise to nearly 50 if people reported missing are not found. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Analysis: Quebec rail disaster shines critical light on oil-by-rail boom

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The deadly train derailment in Quebec this weekend is set to bring intense scrutiny to the dramatic growth in North America of shipping crude oil by rail, a century-old practice unexpectedly revived by the surge in shale oil production.

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