The explosion that killed one person and left at least nine others injured in the Toronto-area city of Mississauga, Ont., is hardly the first such blast to take place in recent years. Here are a few other examples from across the country:
-In April 2008, a father and his son were killed and several other people were injured when a downtown butcher shop exploded in the quiet Saskatchewan community of Nipawin. The blast was blamed on a backhoe that snagged a gas line while demolishing buildings. The backhoe operator was convicted of two workplace violations under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. He was fined a total of $28,000.
-In June 2010, a house exploded in north Edmonton causing $3.8 million in damage to 41 homes. Four bodies were found in the rubble. A fatality inquiry found that Dwayne Poirier strangled his wife, Cathie Heard, and then removed a cap from a natural gas line. Poirier and two men who lived next door were killed in the blast. The inquiry heard how Poirier, 46, and Heard, 47, had severe emotional problems and had obtained several emergency protection orders against each other, which they always discontinued when they got back together. Heard’s body was found rolled in a carpet in the home and bound with duct tape.
-In November 2014, a tenant in a downtown Toronto condominium was cooking a batch of crystal meth when the process went awry. An explosion inside the condo was powerful enough to blow the doors off the unit and neighbouring elevators, as well as cause damage to other nearby suites. The tenant, Angre Hagen, sustained burns in the blast and later pleaded guilty to eight charges including arson by negligence. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
-In December 2014, one home was destroyed and several others were seriously damaged in an explosion in the lakeside Saskatchewan community of Regina Beach. No one was hurt. The blast was blamed on flooding that caused the ground to shift and led to a natural gas leak. The blast prompted SaskEnergy to install more flexible components in its system and permanently remove gas connections from 24 homes.
-In February 2015, six people in Waterville, N.S., narrowly escaped serious injury when the home they were sleeping in exploded. The building itself was completely destroyed when a combination oil- and wood-burning furnace overheated. The provincial fire marshal said the furnace ultimately ruptured and caused the blast, which he said lifted the house from its foundations. Astonishingly, neighbours said they did not feel or hear anything unusual at the time of the explosion.
-In April 2015, one man was killed after the house he was occupying in east-end Toronto exploded. The blast was captured on a dashboard camera, which showed images of insulation and other debris raining down on the surrounding area. Investigators said gas likely played a role in the blast.
-Last month, efforts to restore natural gas to the fire-ravaged town of Ft. McMurray were dealt a blow when a house exploded. No one was injured, but six homes in and around the blast sustained damage.