What caused Ottawa Explosion? Deadly Industrial Accident Leaves 1 Dead, 6 Missing

The explosion at Eastway Tank Pump and Meter Ltd site on Merivale Road, Ottawa, is said to be the 'worst industrial accident' in the city in more than half a century.

A deadly explosion in a building in Ottawa, Canada, reportedly left six people dead, according to Ottawa Citizen. The incident took place at a tanker truck manufacturer, Eastway Tank Pump and Meter Ltd site on Merivale Road on Thursday, January 13. It is said to be the worst industrial accident in the city in more than half a century.

A total of three people were reported to have been hospitalized following the explosion, two of which were said to be in a critical condition. According to police, four men and one woman are missing since the powerful explosion. The identities of the victims and the missing are not available at the moment.

Inspector Frank D'Aoust told the reporters Friday that it is hardly likely that any survivors will be found. An investigation into what caused the explosion and fire is underway.

The identity of one of the workers, who lost his life in the explosion was released. Rick Bastien of Luskville, Que was a mechanic and a welder at the site. His son, Josh Bastien posted an emotional tribute for his father on Facebook.

 Fire at Eastway Tank on Merivale Road in Ottawa
Fire at Eastway Tank on Merivale Road in Ottawa Screen grab - Tony Caldwell /Postmedia via OTTAWA CITIZEN

What caused the explosion?

The cause of the powerful explosion is still unexplained as an investigation is launched.

The president and owner of Eastway Tank, Neil Greene noted in a statement addressing the explosion that they have 'vowed to get to the bottom of what happened.' "We remain in close contact with investigators, and we will cooperate with authorities on all ensuing investigations. We want to get to the bottom of what happened," the statement added.

The Ottawa Police Arson Unit, Ministry of Labour, Ontario Fire Marshal's Office, and coroner's office are investigating the incident.

What happened at the explosion site?

According to CTV News, huge flames and black fumes were seen emerging from the commercial building on Merivale Road around 1:30 pm on Thursday. Ottawa Fire Services officials received calls reporting an explosion before witnessing 15-meter flames through the roof of the building.

Police informed on Friday that three people were believed to have been present in the building at the time of the explosion were sent to the hospital, of which, one has since been released. A firefighter was also reported to have sustained minor injuries.

Witnesses said they heard a loud bang before the fire started. "Something went amiss here, and that's a question that I know is going to come up tomorrow and the next day," Sean McKenny, the president of the Ottawa and District Labour Council said of the explosion.

This article was first published on January 15, 2022