Massive explosion in North Toronto, Ontario

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Multiple large explosions have been reported at Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases, a propane facility in northern Toronto near Keele Street and Wilson Street near the Highway 401, at approximately between 3:25 and 3:50 am EST, at Murray Rd. and Spalding Rd. A six-alarm fire continued to erupt from the explosion, now under control. The cause is currently unknown.

A person who was 10km from the explosion told Wikinews that "my house shook 10 km away. The sky was rumbling every few seconds."

The explosion seen from the Keele Overpass
Image: Michael Gil.

Windows were blown out, doors were broken, and balls of fire descended from the sky near the explosion.

A witness who was in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the time witnessed the entire skyline of Toronto lighting up; someone else in Aurora at the time saw and felt the explosion.

A user on YouTube named "wolfshades" said that "we don't know whether the explosion was chemical or by virtue of its proximity to the Toronto Airport if a plane had crashed." Some witnesses thought the explosion was thunder or a nuclear bomb; the explosion was seen at Ossington Avenue and heard in Bloor and Jarvis in Toronto.

At least eighteen injuries have been reported, with one person still unaccounted for. All of the injuries reported so far have been minor, although one man had a layer of skin burned off his back. A Toronto firefighter died near the scene from a non-traumatic cause, believed to be a heart attack while fighting a fire near Murray and Regent; efforts were made to revive him, but were unsuccessful.

Large numbers of police are on the scene to keep people away from the explosion.

There is concern that two large railcar-mounted propane tanks, each capable of carrying 220,000 litres, could explode with enough force to affect a 1.6km radius. The air was found not to be toxic at the site. Firefighters are working to cool the tanks down and keep flames away, reducing the risk of explosion. More than 12,000 people have been evacuated. Most evacuees were transported to Yorkdale Mall and York University.

At the time of writing, evacuated residents have not yet been allowed to return to their homes. The 401, a major highway has been closed near the area; Eastbound 401 has been shut down between 400 and Allen Road, westbound shut down from 404/DVP to Highway 400. Three TTC subway stations: Yorkdale, Wilson, and Downsview were closed, but later re-opened. It was reported that Yorkdale Mall had been evacuated, but the Toronto Mayor David Miller confirmed through a teleconference from Vancouver that the report was false.

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Bookmark-new.svg