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Huge explosion at fuel depot in Toronto

We were awaken by a huge explosion in Toronto S from our vantage point (N of Sheppard, between Keele & Jane) shortly before 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, August 10, 2008. The windows rattled and the skies lit up. At one point, in the distance, an immense flame raised to the sky. The flame was visible from our 2nd floor window. Crackles and secondary explosions could be heard throughout. Shortly thereafter, we could hear the alarms of the firefighters. We expect this to be major news tomorrow, if it could be heard at such a distance.

Video #6 in the list has caught the major secondary explosion.

Our own video was filmed around Jane & Sheppard, so we can virtually guarantee that this did not occur near the airport. It's most likely a gas station or propane shop explosion, as some have identified it.

CBC has covered this explosion:

Thousands of people fled their homes in a residential neighbourhood of Toronto early Sunday following a series of explosions and a massive fire at a propane depot.
Shelby Degan holds her sweater to her mouth in an attempt to filter out the smoke near her home which is several blocks from a the site of a huge blaze at a propane depot in northwest Toronto. (J.P. Moczulski/Canadian Press)

Police report at least two injuries involving people hit by broken glass and fiery debris that shot into the air after the initial blast, just before 4 a.m. ET.

One man lost his balance and fell while running from the scene, where a huge fireball lit up the sky. Tony Testa said he suffered burns to his back from falling debris.

Officers brought in buses to take residents out of the area after the multiple explosions began. A fire official said people living in a 1.6-kilometre radius have been forced out of their homes.

The first explosion, which could be heard seven kilometres away, shook nearby homes and buildings, waking residents.

One resident living across the street from the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases facility in the area of Keele Street and Wilson Avenue said the blast blew out all the windows at his home.

Testa said his house appeared to shift and one of his solid wooden doors is in pieces. A number of witnesses reported seeing houses on fire and propane tanks falling from the sky.

The six-alarm fire sent clouds of thick smoke hundreds of metres into the air. More than 130 firefighters were sent to battle the blaze.

Two propane tankers were still parked at the scene several hours after the explosions. Firefighters were spraying water on them to prevent further explosions.

The tankers have the capacity to hold about 220,000 litres of propane, police said.

A no-fly zone was ordered above the site of the explosions.

Air testing showed initial concern that the fiery blast had turned the air toxic was unfounded, a fire official said.

As a precaution, police have closed a 16-kilometre stretch of Highway 401 between Highway 400 and the Don Valley Parkway.

Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Sgt. Cam Wooley said he has never seen such a large stretch of the highway closed.

[tags]responsibility, corruption, government idiocy[/tags]


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