At least 2 injured after explosion at military base in Canada

Other News Materials 19 November 2021 01:28 (UTC +04:00)

At least two people were taken to hospital after an explosion rocked a Vancouver Island military base Thursday, Trend reports citing CTV.

The explosion at Canadian Forces Base Comox shook the nearby civilian airport and rattled windows as far as a kilometre away.

"Our focus right now is on assisting our injured personnel," Lt.-Col. Mike Juillet told reporters at the base Thursday.

The explosion occurred inside a historic barracks building that was under renovation and has partially collapsed in the blast.

It is believed the explosion was fuelled by natural gas, but Juillet said the cause had not yet been confirmed.

Several ambulances and firefighters were on scene near the heavily damaged barracks. At least two people were taken to hospital but more may have been injured.

"I don't have a total number of injured personnel right now," Juillet said.

Brenda Cardinal was exercising in the base recreation centre around 9 a.m. when the building shook with the force of the explosion.

"It actually shook the treadmill," said the retired sergeant. "And then we came out and you could see right across there was a lot of smoke happening."

Another witness who was inside the Comox Valley Airport terminal tells CTV News the blast flung debris and shook pictures off the walls.

"I heard an explosion and it rattled the building and I turned and looked and saw a huge plume of smoke and debris flying everywhere," said Don Catling, who was servicing equipment inside the airport at the time.

David Little, who lives approximately one kilometre from the base, said he heard two sharp blasts in close succession around 9 a.m.

"It shook the house, shook the windows," Little said. "We came down to have a look and make sure everyone is all right."