(Montreal) Nothing indicates Friday to the authorities assigned to the excavations of the rubble of the building in Old Montreal which was ravaged by a serious fire, on March 16, that the number of victims would be greater than seven.

During a morning press scrum, Inspector David Shane, of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), confirmed that seven disappearances were still reported. Four corpses had so far been removed from the building, but only one had been formally identified, that of a 76-year-old woman.

Efforts to identify the other three bodies were continuing.

For his part, division chief Martin Guilbault, of the Montreal Fire Safety Service (SSIM), announced that the removal Thursday of many structural elements, including steel beams and roof parts, had been accelerated. , thanks in particular to the use of two cranes rather than just one.

Firefighters now believe they can save the facade of the burnt-out heritage building, which was built in the late 19th century.

Friday’s operations provide for a further increase in the rate of removal of rubble from structural elements of the building located at the intersection of rue du Port and Place d’Youville.

The bodies of three missing persons have not yet been located.

The police investigation is continuing to identify the cause of the fire.

In addition, the SPVM announced that it was ending the daily press scrums to provide an update on operations. The police force indicated that from now on, press conferences will only be held in the event of major progress in the work, at the discretion of the SPVM.