photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 16 July 2013

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Missing Canadians Presumed Dead In Runaway Train Accident

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • derail: to go off the railway tracks
  • presume: to believe something is true before proof is found
  • wipe out: to eliminate
  • DNA: a person’s genetic information
  • retire: to go to sleep

Missing Canadians Presumed Dead In Runaway Train Accident

A runaway train filled with crude-oil derailed and in a small Quebec town last week, causing massive destruction and loss of life. At least 24 people are confirmed dead, and about 26 more are presumed dead. A large section of Lac-MĂ©gantic’s was wiped out, including a popular bar where many of the missing may have been at the time of the explosion. Relatives have been asked to provide DNA . The train operator has stated that the may have improperly applied a number of hand brakes before retiring for the night. Criminal charges could be laid.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What was the train carrying?
  2. How many people likely died in this incident?
  3. Why might the engineer be to blame, even though the train was unattended?

Discussion Question:
Should rail tracks go right through a town centre? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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