‘Everyone’s devastated’: Friends say neuroscientist, 31, missing in Old Montreal fire

A 31-year-old neuroscientist who was visiting Montreal for a conference is among the people missing after a massive fire in Old Montreal last week, according to friends and family.

Friends of An Wu say she was staying at the heritage building on Place d’Youville after coming to Montreal to attend the Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) 2023 event.

“We’re definitely all very devastated,” said Jill Zhu, Wu’s friend. “Part of us still thinks she might still be out there somehow.”

The fire has left one person dead and nine injured, while six others are missing.

A woman’s body was pulled from the rubble on Sunday, a major effort that involved aerial surveillance and the fire department’s technical rescue unit.

“Using drones and using a bucket truck, our police officers and firemen were able to have a look at the scene from high ground, and they were able to locate a victim. Following that, they prepared a plan to safely extricate the victim from the rubble,” said Montreal Police Insp. David Shane.

The victim’s identity has not yet been confirmed.

“These people who are still missing are probably in the rubble, unfortunately,” said Shane.

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