Mississauga plaza explosion displaces 50 people

Fire crews remain on-scene a day after a giant explosion destroyed several Mississauga businesses and left around 50 area residents displaced from their homes.

“As of this morning at approximately 3:30, crews were able to put a final extinguishment on the fire,” Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett said Monday. “Of course we will continue to monitor for any flare-ups or hotspots that occur”, said Beckett.

The explosion rocked a plaza near Hurontario and Dundas streets at around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, sending a 39-year-old man to hospital with serious injuries. A 43-year-old woman and a six-year-old boy were also taken to hospital with minor injuries following the explosion.

A damaged gas main hampered efforts to stamp out the ensuing blaze Sunday.

“Enbridge had to work to shut down that gas line and it took them several hours of excavation to shut it down. That’s why the fire appeared to burn for such a long time,” he said, adding that it was safer to let the gas burn than to allow it to dissipate into the air.

Beckett said the cause of the blast has not yet been determined, but that will now be the focus of an investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office, which is also on-scene.

Peel police said they are conducting a parallel investigation, but have no reason so far to believe the blast was suspicious.

“Right now there is nothing criminal with the investigation,” Peel Police Const. Josh Colley said. “Obviously if that changes our unit will be up to speed if need be.”

Colley said police are asking anyone who witnessed anything pertinent on the morning of the explosion to contact investigators.

The blast Sunday blew out windows on units across from the plaza, on the east side of Hurontario Street, and around 50 residents are still out of their homes, Beckett said. Those people were initially housed in a reception centre at the Mississauga Valley Community Centre, but they have since been moved to hotels. It’s not clear how long it will be before they are allowed to return home.

A public high school near the blast is closed today and Beckett said it will reopen when the school board provides clearance. Officials say that a stretch of Hurontario between Dundas and Hillcrest will likely remain closed for the rest of the day as well.

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