NORWAY — The board of selectmen voted unanimously Thursday night to join a statewide effort to assist Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in rebuilding the town after a devastating train derailment this month.

The board voted to send $200 as a match to the Norway Firemen’s Relief Association’s $200 donation.

Financial donations are being requested by Farmington Town Manager Richard P. Davis in a letter to colleagues across the state asking for funds to assist Farmington’s “Sister City” and a town with ties to many in this area.

Early on July 6, an unattended 73-car tanker train carrying crude oil rolled seven miles and derailed in the heart of the town, causing a massive explosion. Quebec provincial police said Thursday that the official death toll stands at 42, with eight people still missing and presumed dead.

More than 40 commercial and residential buildings in the town’s historic district, including the library and the historical society, were demolished.

“I think at this point any little bit will help,” said Selectman Russ Newcomb, who asked the board to match the Norway Firemen’s Relief Association donation.

In his letter, Davis called the scene in Lac-Megantic “unbelievable” and said the residents there need help on their long road to recovery.

All donations will go to the municipality of Lac-Megantic to use as needed. Contributions are being sought not only from municipalities throughout Maine but from its individual residents and organizations. Contributions may be sent to any TD Bank, payable to the Lac-Megantic Relief Fund.

Ties to the town in the Estrie region of Quebec, Canada, were developed by a number of organizations and institutions in Oxford, Franklin and Androscoggin counties.

Town Manager David Holt said he will “find” the money in the budget. Although he has never been to the town, Holt said some of his family members have fished there over the years and the town reminds him very much of Norway in size and geography.

“You never know what’s coming,” he said.

Selectmen Chairman Michael Twitchell said he worked with some drywallers from Lac-Megantic at job sites in Maine. He said he does not know whether they are still alive or not.

“It’s just unreal,” Newcomb said.

In his letter to municipalities, Davis said, “The border between Maine and Quebec is merely an imaginary line, and the language barrier really no barrier at all to compassion and humanity.”

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