Ottawa explosion: Ottawa police deem explosion criminal

An explosion in Ottawa’s eastern tip, which collapsed several buildings and forced dozens of people from their homes, is now a criminal case, Ottawa police say.

An explosion on February 13 destroyed several homes under construction at Blossom Pass Terrace in Orléans. Homes within a few hundred meters were evacuated and many neighborhoods were damaged. Twelve people, including children, were injured. Two people were dragged out of the rubble.

Police said Wednesday that the Arson Division had taken over the investigation.

“On February 18, the Arson Division became the lead agency for this investigation as the circumstances surrounding the explosion were deemed criminal,” police said in a news release.

“Due to the nature of the ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further, but will announce more details in the coming weeks. It will continue in response,” a police spokesperson told CTV News.

The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined, but the president of Minto, which builds the home, told CTV News it may be related to natural gas.

The explosion woke residents up in the early hours of February 13. Video showed a large explosion shortly before 6:20 a.m. Windows near the explosion zone shattered, sending debris into a wide radius. Hundreds of meters away, residents felt the ground shaking and the blast registering as an earthquake at Carlton Place, Ontario, about 70 km away.

Families near the area were forced out of their homes for several days. Those who were allowed home found damage both outside and inside their homes. Some residents have yet to return, with their home walls missing, garage doors crumpled and falling to the ground, and many windows shattered and blown out.

If you have information about this case, please contact the Ottawa Police Criminal Investigation Division at extension 613-236-1222. 5625.

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