A fire raged through a seniors' home in eastern Quebec on Thursday trapping terrified residents, most of them dependent on wheelchairs and walkers. Five died, 30 were missing and Canada's prime minister said there is little doubt the death toll will be higher.
Officials said firefighters saw and heard people they were unable to rescue from the building but about 20 residents were transported from the building to safety.
Most residents were older than 75, and 37 of them were older than 85. The building included both single rooms and apartment-style dwellings.
Acting mayor Ginette Caron said many of those unaccounted for were confined to wheelchairs and walkers. Only five residents in the center were fully autonomous and some had Alzheimer's disease, she said.
Thick ice covered the remains of the collapsed building Thursday night, hampering the search for the missing, said Quebec Provincial police Lt. Guy Lapointe. Searchers will resume looking for the missing at daylight.