Hurontario Street will remain closed between Dundas Street East and Hillcrest Avenue for at least the rest of the day as investigators get their first up-close look Monday at what they describe as a “massive explosion” that sent three people to hospital and partially leveled a building in Mississauga on Sunday morning.
Emergency crews were called to a commercial business in the Hurontario and Dundas streets area around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Heavy smoke was seen billowing out of the building and firefighters worked for most of the day to contain a massive blaze caused by the blast.
A 39-year-old man suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and is now in stable condition. A 43-year-old woman and a six-year-old boy were also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Peel police say a 50-year-old man and a young child were also treated at the scene and released.
Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett says the building partially collapsed and neighbouring units sustained considerable damage. About 50 people from the area were forced to leave their homes and officials say it’s uncertain at this time when they will be allowed to return.
They are currently staying in a local hotel until it’s determined when they can go back home.
“We’ve got them covered for a few days to start off with, while we continue work to get them relocated back to their apartments,” Beckett explained.
The explosion blew out a number of windows in building.
“We thought it was an earthquake because the whole building was shaking even though it was across the street,” said Debbie Cortez. “I honestly thought a car ran into the building or something. Then we heard the sirens, we came out and we saw all this commotion. It was like a movie. We never expected to see anything like that.”
Late Sunday afternoon, a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team arrived on the scene of the blast to assist Mississauga Fire in a search of the collapsed building.
“The HUSAR team is a specialized team that deals with collapsed buildings and things like that,” explained Beckett. “They brought a recon team to assess the scene with our group, more from a due diligence. It’s not that we anticipate there’s people in there but we just want to make sure we’ve taken all the precautionary steps possible.”
The plaza is located near TL Kennedy Secondary School but it’s unclear if the school was damaged in the blast. The Peel District School Board says the school will be closed to all staff and students on Monday as a precaution.
The Office of the Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause of the blast.
Peel police are appealing for any dashcam video of the explosion.
With files from The Canadian Press