Ontario Construction News staff writer
An investigation is underway after an apparent gas leak caused an explosion in an Ottawa suburb Monday morning, sending 12 people to hospital and destroying four houses that were under construction.
The blast occurred at about 6:18 a.m. at a site being developed by Minto Group development, said Ottawa deputy fire chief David Matschke.
Ottawa Fire Services reported that two people were trapped and pulled out of the rubble.
“Firefighters used chainsaws to cut through a large amount of debris & have rescued one person from the wreckage,” OFS said on Twitter at 7:31 a.m. “Individual was stable & talking.”
About three hours after the explosion, firefighters said they rescued a second person.
“At 09:31, we rescued a second individual from the wreckage. All our specialty teams are on scene & did excellent work locating & rescuing the individual who was trapped inside a collapsed home surrounded by a large amount of debris,” OFS said in an update.
The Ontario Fire Marshal is leading the investigation with Ottawa Police Service and Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.
Salvation Army and Canadian Red Cross workers spent the day at the Minto Sales Centre down the street from the site of the explosion, to help people who have been displaced.
Homes were under development by Minto Group. The developer says it has a team on the ground to address the needs of the community.
Other model homes are being used as temporary shelter spaces for residents who have been evacuated.
“We are working with authorities to identify the cause of the explosion and fully co-operating in the investigation,” Strachan said in a statement Monday. “We will share more information as it becomes available. As always, safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with everyone affected.”