Body of UC San Diego neuroscientist found in rubble of burned building in Montreal
The body of a UC San Diego neuroscientist who was considered missing after a fire tore through a historical building in Montreal earlier this month, has been recovered from the rubble, Canadian media outlets reported.
An Wu was one of seven people reported to have been in the building at the time of the fire, according to Montreal officials. She had been staying at an Airbnb in the building while attending a conference in the Canadian city, according to a GoFundMe created after the March 16 blaze.
As of last Thursday, emergency workers had recovered four bodies. On Monday, city officials identified Wu‘s remains and those of three other victims.
It’s unclear when her body was located.
The building was largely destroyed in the fire and was unsafe to walk through until crews managed to stabilize some of the remaining walls last weekend. That allowed search crews to get inside with rescue dogs who helped locate the two final victims, CTV News Montreal reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Wu worked at the Komiyama Lab at UC San Diego, according to lab’s website. The researcher was from Anhui in South China and studied biology at Wuhan University. She then attended the University of Miami where she studied neuroscience and has been at the San Diego university for six years.
UC San Diego Professor Takaki Komiyama posted a statement to Twitter soon after the blaze praising his friend and colleague, whom he called a “central member of our laboratory.”
“She is creative, fearless, and forward-thinking, with a constant desire to learn,” he wrote. “The level of growth that she has demonstrated in the past six years with us, both as a scientist and as a human being, is remarkable.
“She is a tremendous scientist who makes extremely difficult projects look easy,” he continued. “She is a uniquely talented neuroscientist and a future leader of the field in the making.”
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to raise money to assist her parents in traveling from China to Montreal and San Diego. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had raised more than $63,000.