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April 16, 2014

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Confirmed death toll climbs to 14 in Quebec fire

Updated Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 | 2:23 p.m.

L-ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (AP) — Authorities say 14 people are now confirmed dead and that another 18 are missing after fire ripped through a seniors' residence in eastern Quebec last week.

Thursday's blaze destroyed the residence in L'Isle-Verte, a town 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of Quebec City. Crews have had trouble recovering bodies in the ice-covered rubble due to the frigid temperatures.

Provincial police gave the update at a news conference Monday — the fifth day of the excruciating recovery effort.

On Saturday, investigators brought in equipment normally used to de-ice ships that pushes out very hot air to melt down ice that police said was 60 centimeters (2 feet) thick in places.

The last numbers given out by authorities on Sunday were 10 dead and 22 missing.