Explosion and fire on Murray Road, residents within 1.6 kms to evacuate



    TORONTO, Aug. 10 /CNW/ - At 3:50 a.m. this morning, an explosion and fire
occurred at a propane facility located on Murray Road in Toronto. Murray Road
runs north off of Wilson Avenue. The cause of the explosion is under
investigation. The City of Toronto has activated its Emergency Operation
Centre to help co-ordinate the City's emergency response.
    A small number of minor injuries have been reported at this time. A
search effort continues to locate one individual who is still unaccounted for.
Hospitals have been notified and are on stand by.
    An evacuation zone has been established around the area where the
explosion occurred. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people may be
affected. All residents and business owners within 1.6 kilometres are being
asked to leave the area. A detailed map that outlines the boundaries of the
evacuation is available at www.toronto.ca.
    The boundaries are 401 to the south, Sheppard Avenue West to the north,
Dufferin Street to the east and Keele Street to the west.
    While there is smoke in the air, Toronto Fire Services has tested the air
and there are no concerns with air quality at this time. The evacuation is
required to ensure public safety in the event of further explosions. Crews
continue to fight spot fires and work to cool the propane rail tankers to keep
the pressure from building up within them.
    Experts continue to assess the fire and are working with City officials
to determine the best course of action and will confirm how long the
evacuation will be necessary.
    Water pressure has been increased to support the firefighting efforts at
the site and there is no impact to Toronto's city-wide water supply.
    Residents who are being evacuated are asked to take medications, pets and
any other essential belongings with them. TTC is on-site with shuttle buses
and shelter buses to assist with the evacuation efforts. TTC buses are located
at Yukon Drive in Downsview Park and are circulating the area.
    The public is being advised to stay clear of the evacuation area and wait
to hear from family and friends. Family members and friends who know people
living within the evacuation area are asked not to go to the site or to drive
into the evacuation area. The City has set up an evacuation centre at York
University's Tait MacKenzie Building, which is located at 1 Thompson Road for
residents who have no place to go. Family and friends can call 416-736-5185 to
get information about individuals who may be at the centre. Please do not
attempt to go the temporary evacuation site to find family and friends please
call first.
    The Canadian Red Cross and Salvation Army are working with the City's
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division at the evacuation centre
to provide support to evacuees who need assistance.
    Highway 401 between Highway 400 and the Don Valley Parkway has been
closed, and a no-fly zone has been established over the site.
    TTC confirms that Wilson, Downsview and Yorkdale subway stations have
been reopened.
    Enbridge Gas has turned gas off in the area from Dufferin to Murray and
Honover to Wilson until further notice. Toronto Hydro has also turned off
power within the evacuation area.
    Ancaster Community Centre and Downsview Secondary School, both located
within the evacuation area, will not be operating their weekday Summer Daycamp
programs until the evacuation order is lifted. Staff will make every effort to
contact parents and caregivers if cancellation is necessary.
    There is a railway line near the site and CN has been contacted. The
Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Health have also been advised.
    For updates as more information becomes available, visit the City's
website at www.toronto.ca.

    
                     Visit our website at www.toronto.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic Communications,
(416) 919-6500 (cell)


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