8 people still unaccounted for in L'Isle-Verte

Firefighters dig at the site of the Residence du Havre in L'Isle Verte, Quebec, January 28, 2014....

Firefighters dig at the site of the Residence du Havre in L'Isle Verte, Quebec, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 6:24 PM ET

MONTREAL — The Quebec coroner says 24 bodies have now been recovered at the seniors' residence at L'Isle-Verte, Que., and the painstaking search continues for the eight people who remain unaccounted for.

Rescue workers have had to battle extreme conditions from freezing temperatures, blizzards, 90 km/hr wind gusts, and ice as thick as 60cm surrounding the site of the inferno.

The town of L'Isle-Verte is getting ready to host a memorial mass for the victims on Saturday morning. Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Quebec Premier Pauline Marois are expected to attend the service, slated to begin at 11 a.m.

Pope Francis released a statement to express "his spiritual closeness to those who were injured and their families, as well as to the firefighters and rescue workers who are showing great solidarity in weather conditions that make their work difficult."

- With files from Dave Kaufman


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