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Search for missing people in Woodstock explosion expected to take days

Amateur video of an explosion at a Woodstock, Ont. apartment building. CITYNEWS.

Just two days after a massive blast gutted an apartment building in Woodstock, Ont., police say it could take days for crews to sift through the rubble in an attempt to find the final two missing residents.

Woodstock police Const. Steven McEwan says officers could be working until next week to determine whether there are bodies in what remains of the three-storey building, adding the prospects for survival appear grim.

Police continue to search for Margaret Gillett, 73, and Bill Watmough, 79.

Five other people who were previously unaccounted for have since been found.

Around 8:30am Sunday, a blast ripped through the apartment building at Henry and Victoria streets, home to mostly elderly tenants.  Eleven people were initially deemed “unaccounted for” after the explosion.

Seven people, including one firefighter, were hospitalized. They have since been released.

Officials are still trying to determine what exactly sparked the explosion, but say there’s no evidence of criminal activity.

Investigators are looking into a natural gas service that powered appliances in the building as a possible cause.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who took pictures or video of the fire and its aftermath. They say it might be able to help them in finding the missing residents.

Call (519) 537-2323 if you have information that can help.

With files from The Canadian Press