Details of the cause of the explosion that destroyed a building and sent three people to hospital in Prince George have been released by investigators.
Early indications led police to believe that at least one gas pipe had been damaged when “unauthorized persons” stole copper pipes.
“The source of the ignition that caused the explosion was due to the activities of one of the unauthorized persons inside the building, who was unaware at the time of the accumulation of natural gas inside the structure,” said Cpl. said Jennifer Cooper.
“This investigation is incredibly complex and it will take time before investigators can make any further decisions, but we felt that an update on the progress of the investigation was necessary.”
The explosion took place around 7 a.m. on August 22 in an abandoned building located between 4th Avenue and Dominion Street. He razed this building and smashed the windows of adjacent buildings.
Three people were taken to hospital and one person was seriously injured. Debris was strewn over several city blocks, police said.
Videos posted on Twitter show flames and thick black smoke billowing from a building.
Resident Frances Gook said she was sitting at home when she heard a “very loud boom”. I’ve never heard of it before,” she said in an interview. “Apparently it was heard all over town, so loud…the house actually felt like it was shaking. It was as if a shock wave hit the house.
She then saw a “black plume” rising from a place several kilometers from the house.
RCMP are asking anyone with video footage of the explosion to contact the detachment’s non-emergency line at 250-561-3300.
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