The county says social media claims about the Wheatley explosion site are “unfounded.”
CAO Don Shropshire was forced to address rumors about damage to remaining buildings near the explosion site following last month’s blast. A contractor cleaning up debris posted online that he’d been told certain structures would need to be demolished.
“That’s the responsibility of our chief building official and that person has not even been able to get to the site… So there has been no determination of further demolitions that are going to be required,” says Shropshire.
The CAO says taking the photos and making claims about the buildings was “contrary to what the contract was… We are dealing with the person.”
“As a result of the statements made we’ve had a whole bunch of very anxious residents calling in and asking a whole bunch of questions when that could have been avoided completely. I’m not sure what was behind the motivation but it was inaccurate. And it resulted in people who have already suffered having a whole lot more to deal with,” says Shropshire.
Debris cleanup continues with about 90 per cent of the rubble now removed. Residents have reported a number of smells recently but none of them turned out to be gas. The municipality says they could be from farming, offshore gas wells or lake inversion.
The source of the gas causing the explosion still hasn’t been found. The Chatham-Kent Fire Department says residents must remain alert until it’s discovered.
“We can't say for sure that further evacuations won't be necessary. Community safety remains our priority so please be prepared,” says Fire Chief Chris Case.
There are still 12 displaced families living in temporary housing while the explosion site is cleared.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent