Mississauga, Ontario Explosion: 1 Dead, 9 Injured, More Questions Than Answers

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, generally speaking, is a bustling metropolis that, while considered a suburb of the provincial capital Toronto, has lots to offer in its own right. Mississauga’s peace, however, was shattered yesterday when a house explosion rocked the neighborhood on Hickory Drive, killing one woman and injuring nine other people.

Some apartment complexes and townhouses in the immediate vicinity of the Mississauga explosion were evacuated, and there were still some evacuees being housed in a variety of locations while the explosion is being investigated, according to The Toronto Star.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she was pleased with how the community banded together in the wake of the explosion.

“I was just so delighted on how the community pulled together and welcomed each other,” Crombie said.

One woman, who told CBC News that she would only give her first name as Rhonda, had a shopping bag full of letters that might have been from the Mississauga explosion at 4201 Hickory Drive. One letter saw its writer apparently apologizing for what they were about to do while a second letter that was shown to CBC News references mental health challenges and an inability to keep up with maintenance and cleaning of the Mississauga home. Rhonda acknowledged that the letters might have nothing at all to do with the Mississauga explosion.

“I trust God to look after me and my husband to take us home,” the second letter said.

Some residents also discovered other similar letters and a man’s will.

Ontario’s fire marshal is currently investigating the Mississauga explosion, while there are still several residents of the area that are in an evacuation center.

Fire Marshal Jeff Minten said that while there would be those who might speculate about the cause of the Mississauga explosion, every possible avenue is being investigated, including gas-based fixtures.

“At this point, the investigation is in its infancy,” he noted.

The website Insauga reports that the last explosion of this magnitude was the Sunrise Propane Incident, which occurred in 2008 in Toronto. Then, thousands were evacuated from their homes.

According to Insauga, some are speculating that the Mississauga explosion may have been caused by a meth lab explosion, but writer Jonah Shinuda said that such an explosion would lead to the cleanup being executed by personnel in hazmat suits, and no hazmat suits have been seen at the site of the Mississauga explosion.

One parent, in particular, was deeply concerned about the outcome of the Mississauga explosion. Tanja Nimchuk had dropped her 14-year-old daughter off at a friend’s place a short time before the explosion occurred, and she raced to get to her daughter. She said that at one point, she was forced to abandon her car and try to get to her daughter by bicycle.

“I was a hysterical mother trying to come through on a bike,” she said. “An officer was chasing me… I biked past two yellow tapes. I said ‘I’m not leaving until I get my daughter.'”

Needless to say, Nimchuk was more than relieved when she saw her daughter and her friend. Explaining that she just hung onto the two girls after she spotted them, she said, “I just broke down. It’s like fate… somebody looked over me.”

To be sure, officials from the Insurance Bureau of Canada will have their hands full as they try to field as many questions as they can about the Mississauga explosion’s impact on the area’s insurance for homeowners, or if the home is damaged, how homeowner policies will be affected, among other questions.

Anyone who discovers what appears to be personal effects in the aftermath of the Mississauga explosion should not touch them. Instead, Peel Police 12 Division should be contacted immediately.

(Photo by James Bancroft [CC BY 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)