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August 11, 2008
City continues to co-ordinate the safe return of residents to their homes
  
It has been 36 hours since the explosion and fire at a propane facility on Murray Road caused the evacuation of a 1.6 km area, affecting thousands of residents and businesses. The City co-ordinated an immediate response to safely evacuate residents and provide temporary shelter and assistance until they could safely return to their homes.

While the majority of residents were able to return safely to their homes within 24 hours of the explosion, approximately 100 homes cannot be safely accessed until an asbestos clean up plan and air quality testing can be completed.

“The City’s emergency services did an incredible job responding to this significant event and ensuring the safe evacuation of residents,” said Mayor David Miller. “There are always unknowns during events such as this and I would like to thank the affected residents for the patience and understanding they have shown throughout this challenging time.”

Acting Chief of Toronto Fire Services, Jim Shelton, today confirmed the fire was put out as of late yesterday afternoon. Toronto Fire Services remains on-scene to support the Office of the Fire Marshal, which is investigating the cause of the explosion.

A substance, suspected to be asbestos, was identified yesterday evening, delaying the initial planned re-entry and more material was found and confirmed to be asbestos earlier today. Air quality testing equipment will be brought to the site to ensure the material is not airborne and a clean up plan will begin, once approved by the Ministry of the Environment.

Once the clean up is complete, Toronto Police will begin an escorted, street-by-street re-entry for the residents of the area that remains closed. The affected streets are:

• Frederick Tessdale Circuit, building 201-226 only
• all of Murray Road
• all of Garratt Boulevard
• Wilson Avenue from Murray Road to Ancastor Road
• Regent Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road
• Katherine Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road
• Spalding Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road
• Plewes Road from Murray Road to Ancastor
• Gilley Road from Garratt Boulevard to Ancastor Road
• Home Road west of Ancastor Road
• west side of Ancastor Road.

Affected residents will receive updates at the Evacuation Centre at York University, on the City’s website at http://www.toronto.ca, by calling Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 and through the media.

Although the location is currently zoned to allow the existence of a propane facility, approval and regulation these facilities is under the provincial jurisdiction of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). City officials have been working to harmonize zoning bylaws throughout the city and will also explore any new regulating authorities that may be available under the new City of Toronto Act.

The City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff will continue to operate the evacuation centre at York University for as long as it is needed. At the centre, affected residents can access many supports, including the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Children’s Services and psychosocial assistance.

TTC provided 55 buses to assist with the evacuation yesterday and continues to have two buses on standby at the evacuation centre to assist residents.

For updates as more information becomes available, visit the City’s website at http://www.toronto.ca.

Media contact:
Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-919-6500 (cell)

-----------------------------------------------

Toronto Police Service Update

Monday, August 11, 2008

Major explosion and evacuation, Gradual return of residents continues

Public Information
416−808−7100

On Monday, August 11, 2008, at 4:45 p.m., residents from the following addresses are asked to report to a police staging area at 877 Wilson Avenue:
− Katherine Road: 99−119,
− Garratt Boulevard: 25−29 only,
− Regent Road: 108−139 on the north side, and 111−139 on the south side.

Residents will require photo identification and proof of address to be allowed to return to their homes.

When residents return to their homes, please walk through your home to ensure there are no safety concerns. Secure your home as best you can. If you have any concerns or difficulties securing your home, contact police at 416−808−2222.

Upon entry, please notify police of any debris you believe is from the explosion. If you locate anything thought to be from the explosion, don't handle it. Call police at 416-808−2222.

When you return to your home, there will not be any gas supply. Do not turn on the gas, or try to use any gas appliances. Representatives from Enbridge gas are on site and will attend those homes which have been released back to their owners.

There will be no electricity either. Residents are reminded to check any perishable foods. When in doubt, throw it out.

Many additional uniform and plainclothes officers will remain in the affected areas to ensure the public's safety and security.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416−808−2222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), or online at http://www.222tips.com.


 

 

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