Site of Prince George, B.C. explosion shut down for investigation

Site of Prince George, B.C. explosion shut down for investigation

Work has temporarily halted at a Prince George, B.C. rock quarry after an explosion Monday night prompted a large scale emergency response. 

Prince George RCMP, firefighters, and other emergency responders received multiple reports from area residents about an explosion at around 8:30 p.m. PT.

Crews were unable to determine the source of the noise after roughly 90 minutes of searching for its source. 

"It sounded like a dynamite explosion or gas, something like that —really whoompter," said Clarence Boudreau who was reading with his wife at home when the explosion sounded.

"I just thought like everybody else what the devil happened," he said. 

Delays led to the late blast

Emergency officials eventually received a call from the work crew responsible for the explosion. 

"I drilled the pattern. We have to crack the mountain, and to do that, we had to do two stages," said Darryl Crichton. 

"[It] takes longer than normal than if you were doing a blast pattern to muck the rock out of the way," he said. 

Crichton said it was the second explosion of the day, but he thinks he knows why more people heard the last one.

"The elevation was ... directly in line of sight across the river to the base of Foothills [Boulevard]." 

He says they had planned to do the blast at 6:00 p.m. but instead it occurred after 8:00 p.m. 

In a prepared statement, the ministry said inspectors have been in touch with the permittee to find out why the blast occurred so late. 

A spokesperson with the Prince George Fire Rescue Service confirms the department was not told to expect any explosions the night of Feb 27, 2017.