Adrien Aubert was moments away from death. At around 1 a.m. on July 6, the 29-year-old, who works for the social network Plogg, was having a beer with friends outside his home in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, a town about 250 kilometers east of Montréal, when he heard a loud boom come from the downtown area, where he was headed next.
He grabbed his camera and darted to the area within minutes, stopping about 200 meters away and only inching closer to film. Aubert arrived so fast that most emergency personnel weren’t even at the scene.
“The whole sky was burning,” he says. “It was just fireballs going high up.” Others near the scene explained that a speeding train had barreled into the heart of town, crashed behind Musi-Café, the popular watering hole where Aubert was about to visit, and exploded.
When he approached the site, he saw four or five…
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