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Update: 10 wounded in explosion at 19 Wing CFB Comox

It is now reported that ten people were injured in the explosion this morning at CFB Comox, that appears to have been caused by an excavator hitting a gas line.

BCEHS issued the following information:

“BC Emergency Health Services received a call this morning around 9:15 am for an explosion at CFB Comox (Little River Road). Several ambulances were dispatched to the scene, including a critical care team by air ambulance.

At this time, 10 patients have been cared for by paramedics: Six patients were treated at the military base medical unit. Three patients were transported to hospital in stable condition. One patient in serious condition was flown with our critical care paramedic team in the 442 squadron cormorant helicopter to hospital.”

A National Defence spokesperson it appears a contractor may have hit a gas line with his excavator while working on a perimeter drain. However, these finding are not conclusive, and an investigation will need to be conducted.

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“As of this afternoon, the local Military Family Resource Centre, daycare and gymnasium have been closed, and both power and gas in the affected area has been turned off as a precaution. An Urban SAR team from Esquimalt is currently on the ground to support emergency efforts. Fortis BC has disconnected the gas line, and DND Real Property Operations has shut down power to the building.”

Crews were working on two buildings, and the spokesperson says Early indications are that the building Building 25 (B25)is likely damaged beyond economical repair. Additional assessments will be required of the building, as well as the adjacent accommodations building. The building has a bed capacity for 130 personnel.

The contract was awarded in April 2021, and work began later that month. Work was anticipated to be completed by January 2022. Officials say it is too soon to determine what impact this will have on the overall project.

The overall project cost was estimated at $3M to renovate the two barracks. (Cost per building is $1.5M per building.)

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