Downtown Wheatley, Ont., still at risk after explosion that injured 20, officials say

·1 min read
Officials are urging people to avoid the area of an explosion in downtown Wheatley, Ont., on Thursday evening because toxic gas continues to leak.  (Chatham-Kent Fire Dept./Twitter  - image credit)
Officials are urging people to avoid the area of an explosion in downtown Wheatley, Ont., on Thursday evening because toxic gas continues to leak. (Chatham-Kent Fire Dept./Twitter - image credit)

After a gas explosion in Wheatley that injured 20 people and destroyed two buildings Thursday, Chatham-Kent officials in the southwestern Ontario municipality say the area remains at risk of another blast.

"It's unacceptable for the people of Wheatley to live in fear," said Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff in a call Friday morning that provided an update.

Canniff is calling on the Ontario government to find the source of the leak, saying the municipality can't investigate because toxic gas is still around the area the explosion.

"Gas is still present and leaking at the scene," Canniff said. "It is an unsafe area, and unstable."

Around 6 p.m. ET, two buildings at the corner of Erie Street North and Talbot Road East in downtown Wheatley collapsed after the explosion. Municipal officials say hydrogen sulphide gas was detected at around 4:30 p.m. that afternoon.

The municipality says 20 people, including three municipality workers, were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Of the three people who went to hospital, one is still being treated.

More to come

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