Multiple injuries, homes destroyed in east Ottawa gas leak explosion

Four houses were destroyed in a gas explosion on February 13, 2023.  (Felix Desroches/CBC - photo credit)

Four houses were destroyed in a gas explosion on February 13, 2023. (Felix Desroches/CBC – photo credit)

Several homes were destroyed and two people were pulled alive from the rubble in east Ottawa on Monday morning after a gas leak triggered an explosion.

Residents began calling 911 at around 6:18 a.m. to report the blast, according to firefighters, police and paramedics at a news conference Monday morning.

The Ottawa Fire Department said a gas leak caused an explosion that affected four homes under construction on Blossom Pass Terrace. Nearby are houses where people live.

CLOCK | Some of the first videos from the scene:

Paramedics had said two people were missing and believed to be in the rubble and that rescue workers were looking for them.

At the press conference, officials said the first person was pulled alive from the rubble at 7:19 a.m. The second was rescued just before the press conference began after 9:30 a.m., officials said.

One was trapped under a pile of debris and firefighters had to use chainsaws to get to it, fire department spokesman Nicholas DeFazio said in an afternoon update. He said the other was rescued from a collapsed house.

The two people pulled from the rubble were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition.

Felix Desroches/CBC

Felix Desroches/CBC

Three other people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, paramedics said around 10:30 a.m

Seven residents were also treated at the scene for minor injuries and released.

Everyone is taken into account, Defazio said at around 1:30 p.m

Among the investigative teams, he named the Ottawa Police and Fire Department, the Ontario Fire Marshal and Department of Labor, and the Technical Standards and Safety Agency.

A spokesman for the agency said in an email to CBC that the organization had both an investigator and an inspector on site Monday and would be working with other officials to determine if “any non-compliance with fuel safety regulations” contributed to the incident .

Around 4 p.m., the Fire Marshal’s office had arrived on site and was preparing to launch an investigation with a team of six, including a drone operator, engineers and fire investigators. The purpose of the investigation is to “determine the cause, origin and circumstances of the explosion,” CBC said in an email.

Ottawa Fire Department/Twitter

Ottawa Fire Department/Twitter

It was a big bang, a big noise and it just shook everything. – Mayank Sharma, resident of Orléans

Tenth Line Road remains closed between Décoeur Drive and Wall Road south of Brian Coburn Drive.

The scene is a community developed by Minto about 20 kilometers east of Ottawa’s core. The Department of Labor said Minto Construction is building the houses at the scene.

Minto said in an email it had opened show homes to keep people warm and was cooperating with the investigation.

Residents who need help can leave to the Minto office in Tenth Line and Décoeur.

The gas was still leaking, firefighters said at 7:10 a.m. Enbridge Gas told CBC in an email just before 11 a.m. that it had shut off natural gas supplies to 27 homes in the area, some of which were unoccupied.

Felix Desroches/CBC

Felix Desroches/CBC

The Salvation Army and Red Cross are also helping, Orléans South-Navan Coun said. Catherine Kitts.

“Given the intensity of the blast, it’s a small miracle there weren’t any more serious injuries,” she said.

In the vicinity of the crime scene, people reported broken windows and other damage to their homes such as broken doors and cracked walls.

CLOCK | Local residents describe what they felt:

“I was in a deep sleep and I heard a big explosion, so big the ground shook… I thought a car hit the house,” said Anthony Dinardo.

“[At first we thought] Was it an earthquake, a plane crash, or a truck hit someone’s house? What happened? It was a big bang, a big noise and it just shook everything,” said Mayank Sharma, who lives about 250 meters away.

Someone tweeted to CBC Ottawa that the blast rocked their home about 15 kilometers away on the east end of Gatineau, Que.

Ottawa gas leak explosion


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