NEWS

Kamloops hostage-taker's body recovered

05/21/2012 08:39 EDT | Updated 07/21/2012 05:12 EDT

The B.C. Coroners Service has recovered the body of a man killed in a fiery explosion following a hostage-taking in Kamloops, B.C., last week.

The man took his former girlfriend hostage late Thursday night and rigged her home with explosives, while her four children managed to escape. The 48-year-old Surrey electrician had told police he wasn't able to get over the break up of the relationship.

Police have said the man strapped explosives to himself and apparently detonated them shortly after the woman was released.

A fire destroyed the home and coroner Mark Coleman said the man's body was recovered Saturday.

"Because of the damage to the structure from the fire, it wasn't initially safe to go in. We had to have the scene evaluated by a structural engineer," he said.

"The engineer was able to give us an indication of what needed to be done to make the scene safe and we were able to put in place a plan to remove the debris and just do what was necessary to make the scene accessible and safe."

Coleman said the man's name will likely be released Tuesday.

'It has been non-stop'

Meanwhile, the community is rallying around the woman, whose name has not been released, and her children — aged seven, nine, 11 and 13.

Family friend Virginia Rogers says the family lost everything in the explosion, but donations have been pouring in.

"It seems like most of Kamloops is all coming together and helping this family out," she said. "It has been non-stop. We've been getting beds, dressers, clothing, kitchen items — just basically anything to rebuild with."

Since the explosion, Rogers has been fielding calls and organizing donations.

"I couldn't bear to sit, after I saw the explosion, and not do anything for the family."

She said the family still needs clothing for all four children and a new place to live.

"I don't feel that any family should ever have to go through something like this," she said.

"It saddens me to see that this can happen in our world, but I am happy to see that the family did make it out of this situation and now they can rebuild."

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