explosion at Montreal shelter kills 2, injures 20 FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 14:51:05 -0700 (PDT)

FWD Associated Ptress - Tuesday, June 9, 1998; 4:38 p.m. EDT


MONTREAL (AP) -- An explosion from a severed gas line destroyed a center
for homeless people in Montreal on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring
about 20, authorities said. One staff member was missing.

The explosion sheared off a wall of the three-story stone building,
spilling rubble into the street in historic Old Montreal.

Firefighters accompanied by tracking dogs were searching through the
debris, unsure if the missing employee was trapped underneath.

A fire department official, Alain Michaud, said the two dead were women,
but he had no further details.

The city gas company, Gaz Metropolitain, said a private contractor ruptured
a gas pipe while trying to adjust a meter.

No one lived in the Accueil Bonneau shelter -- it was used to provide meals
and shelter for homeless people during the day.

Authorities initially reported that about 30 people were injured, but
lowered the figure after determining that some people were counted more
than once in the confusion.

The explosion damaged several adjacent buildings and some tour buses, which
were parked near the shelter in a popular tourist area.


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