Toronto Explosions! Updated! Updated Again!

Toronto Explosion evacuees hotline: 416-736-5185. Up to 12,000 residents were evacuated, according to If you cannot reach your friends or relatives who live within the evacuation zone, please call that number for more information.

Reported fatalities so far are limited to one, a firefighter who died in the course of duty. One employee of the propane company is missing and was reported last seen running towards one of the early explosions.

Amazing video of the Toronto Explosions fireball; this is HOLY SHIT material:

via heiko on Twitter

Longer video here:

Toronto Explosion #1 from photojunkie

Toronto Explosion #2 by photojunkie

Just about an hour ago photojunkie (who took these shots) twittered that huge explosions were rocking the Wilson Keele or Dufferin and Wilson area of Toronto, up to fifteen fiery explosions, some estimated up to 60 stories high. They are located near both the Shell refinery (suspect #1) and the airport (suspect #2 and please don’t let it be terrorism) and how stupid is it to have those two things close together, eh? The fire department is on the scene and photojunkie reports they have the fires apparently under control now, or at least significantly damped down.

And photojunkie‘s video:

And what does CBC Toronto want to talk about? The O-Fucking-Lympics and the (are they still on?) Pan Am Games. Yay team?


Canadian Press is reporting it was the Sunrise Propane depot that blew up. Again I ask, how smart is that to have near the airport, not to mention near the airport AND the Shell refinery? Residents of the mixed industrial/residential area were evacuated:

“It was just a tremendous explosion and blew all the windows out of the house, just blew the house up, and I just managed to get out of there in time,” said Robert Helman, who lives across the street from the facility, which he identified as Sunrise Propane.

Helman, who was covered in cuts and bruises, said when he went outside, he saw a “huge fireball” followed by “multiple explosions.”

He said when he ran a “wave of a heat” followed him…

An emergency worker with Bombardier, which has a facility in the area, said he saw houses on fire. The worker, who did not want to be identified, also said he saw propane tanks dropping from the sky.

Sunrise Propane on Google Maps here. 54 Murray Road, North York, ON, M3K 1T2

(416) 736-4348 although I wouldn’t try calling today if I were you.

The company has a good reputation, or had up to this point anyway. Here is their corporate website, in which they say they operate 24 hours a day.

Sunrise Propane and it’s employees take great pride in being able to deliver very competitively priced propane and industrial gases with exceptional service to all customers. Satisfied customers are the foundation upon which Sunrise Propane was built.

Flickr stream for shots of the Toronto explosions here.

The National Post confirms reports of casualties, and further reports that the police and fire authorities have closed off the area for a full kilometer in diameter.

Toronto EMS duty officer David Viljak said emergency officials have received reports of “casualties” but can’t confirm them since the victims are “inside the hot zone” and behind the barricade.

“Actually . . . it was very large (the explosion), we are two miles away here, and we could feel it,” said the EMS officer.

It is believed that a series of explosions were set off at a propane gas depot.

Some media reports say some houses close to the centre of the activity were set ablaze.

Traffic on Wilson has been closed between Dufferin and Keele, and power to the area has been cut.

And some more information on Livejournal here.

Newest Updates:

Gawker reports that there are only two confirmed hospitalizations so far, but there are also two propane tanks in the railyards on fire and if those blow, it will be epic-er!

CBC reports a firefighter has been taken from the scene with no vital signs. Guess someone finally woke them up.

Thanks to Hez on Twitter for the tipoff.

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41 thoughts on “Toronto Explosions! Updated! Updated Again!

  1. He’s good, isn’t he? And he was RIGHT THERE! He’s still uploading photos and video.

    Thanks for the update. Such is the power of WordPress, plus middle of the night lack of competition, plus use of Toronto and Canada tags. I should have put Fire too, but deliberately trying to outrank the guy who actually broke the story would be pretty shitty of me.

  2. I work at the ttc yard at Dufferin and Wilson and witnessed the start with the first explosion and the numerous explosions then after.

    The second very large explosion gave off a heat wave (could only be seen from a birds eye view, we were on the roof by then)that looked quite similar to an atomic bomb and we felt the heat wave hit our faces. We also witnessed a large flaming object being ejected into the distance and someone will definitely find some damage in their backyard this morning if they haven’t been injured or their home damaged by the cast off already.

    This is very disturbing as when I called the police I got my first story, when I listened to the radio I got a second story and when I talked to an actual police officer I got the third story.

    Hmmm…gas station, schell plant, oil dump???

    The explosions were too many to count but two major ones.

    It is 630 am now and at a more northern bird’s eye view I can now see the flames have stopped.

    The flood of people at the scene and driving towards the scene was insane. There was mass panic combined with natural human curiousity.

  3. Thanks for that awesome information. Looks like it was a propane station, at least that’s what is reporting. Houses are on fire, and the residents are being evacuated because the air is not safe either.

    BTW this blog is on Vancouver time, which accounts for the difference.

  4. Oh I see.

    And thanks for capturing what I saw, I am sure their are very few of us who saw it as opposed to just feeling the major explosions.

  5. I didn’t capture it; all credit goes to Photojunkie, who lives near there and took those shots from his apartment.

    I’ve updated the post with a lot more information, plus the Flickr stream for “Toronto Explosions” so there is a lot of material there to look through.

  6. Pingback: Talk about news . . . « Frontier Former Editor

  7. They still can’t find the Mayor, the media that is.What are the odds he’s in Beijing.I would say 2 to 3 not quite even money.

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  9. Not only a gas power plant, but a Shell oil refinery nearby and the airport not far away. That’s why I thought it might have been terrorism. But North York is not really downtown. The city just grew up around it.

    disembedded: it’s just a function of being a night owl. And following Hez on Twitter.

  10. It is just terrible that you use the sh-word! You just casually use it in the beginning of your blog, and WordPress puts this up on the main page in the featured blog section for all to see when they sign in to check their own blogs. I couldn’t help but see it when I signed in. I can’t believe WordPress allows this! Why do you have to talk like that? Using such offensive, crude language!

  11. What really makes me mad is that this was a featured blog, right on WordPress main page. That’s where I saw the sh-word, in plain sight. Please watch your language–this is offensive.

  12. Fuck you, sweeties. Jesus Fucking Christ.

    That a fireman died doesn’t concern you
    ; you’re worried about me using the S word. Well then, FUCK YOU. You’re inhuman, cruel, and incredibly insensitive. Burn in Hell.

  13. Holy Crap, Rain. What photo’s. I won’t be far from there tomorrow. I’ll try and see if I can get some photo’s. If I have time, I’ll try.

    I was away the last few days and didn’t even hear about this until I came home and read this on your blog. (Surfer)

    I can’t believe it! I hope no one else has been hurt. You are right. Why on earth would they have that so close to where people are living and an Airport!

    I’m still a bit in shock over this.

  14. Well so far it looks like there are only two fatalities: the fireman and a propane worker. I’m in shock over the fact there weren’t more!

    Take care of yourself and don’t strive to get the pix if it’s going to freak you out too much.

  15. If that video’s not Holy Shit material, I don’t know what is. I’m amazed more people weren’t killed, but sorry to hear one of Toronto’s Bravest died.

    I can sort of place where that is. Mr. Knife Skills and I flew to Toronto last month for our annual culinary pilgrimage to Susur. Great city.

    Good reporting, rain!

  16. Thanks, Bunk. LGF has been aware of my reporting since last night about 4am; they linked to another of my posts, then linked to virtually every source linked in this story, without attribution. I wouldn’t expect any better of them. But thanks for trying.

    @ ella: the firefighter was taken from the scene with no vital signs. As for the propane worker, all we have are rumours, but can you see that fireball and doubt that at least one person died? I’m amazed the body count isn’t in the triple digits, as it is a mixed blue collar industrial/residential area.

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  19. Yes, it’s terrible, but also remarkable. Looks like the propane employee was trying to prevent the problem from getting worse, so in my book both of them died heros.

  20. Hey, Cindy! What fucking (yes, you read the correctly) planet do you live on? I suggest you get rethink your carb controlled diet and perhaps occasionally shove a piece of cake in your mouth. You will feel much better.

  21. dear god – I’m surprised I’ve heard next to nothing about this in the lamestream media. Converseley, I’ve heard multitudes of opinions on the 8-year-old chinese girl who lip synched the Chinese national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

    I’m glad our media is covering the important stuff….wouldn’t want to have to worry about our friends up in Canada for god’s sakes!

    And Cindy’s just upset because her chronic ketonic gas has damaged some of her precious dolls. Reportedly they smell like sulfur now.

  22. Yes, the reason this missed the main news cycle is that the newspapers were being distributed at the time it happened, so it was a full 24 hours before they could cover it, therefore it was DOA. And they say newspapers have no more power!

  23. So if news is inconvenient, you just do not bother to report it? I do not think that is the attitude that built the Hearst empire.

  24. Ah, but the Hearst empire is slowly crumbling, in significant part because of the attitudes therein.

    I’m really rather shocked on behalf of Canadian reporters. I am in awe of reporters, but what the HELL is going on? On some major papers it didn’t even make the front page the next day (on those it did, photojunkie got credit for the pictures, which was good).

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