ALBERTA

House Explosion In Regina Beach (PHOTOS, TWEETS)

12/03/2014 04:53 EST | Updated 12/03/2014 07:59 EST

The Town of Regina Beach is confirming a gas explosion near the post office that appears to have done extensive damage to a house and several nearby buildings.

Lumsden RCMP say they were called to the 200 block of 1st St. shortly after 2:15 p.m.

A photo circulating on Twitter appears to show wreckage of a home. Patricia Crawford, who lives nearby, told the Leader Post she went for a drive to see what had happened and said a home was "entirely destroyed."



Regina Beach Mayor Cameron Hart told CTV News that a fire at the site of the home continued to burn. He said the home was destroyed and nearby buildings sustained damage.

“I’m sure it’s a gas leak, nothing else would blow like that,” Hart said. “The blast was felt way out on the ice on the lake. It was felt, basically, all over town.”

An employee at the town's Home Hardware store said the man and woman who lived in the home were in the store after the explosion. The couple were not home at the time of the blast and were shaken but otherwise fine.

SaskEnergy told Global News they have crews on scene investigating, and a spokesperson says there have been reports of underground gas leaks in the area over the past few months, although no more than any other time period.

Dave Burdeniuk with SaskEnergy said it appears ground shifting caused a natural gas leak in a line adjacent to the house property. Gas was shut off to several homes and businesses in the area while workers tested for other leaks and dug up the line for repairs.

He said it was hoped the work could be finished sometime Wednesday night.

"We want to obviously get gas restored to any of the homes or businesses that have had gas shut off because it is a cold night."

RCMP had asked people to stay away from the area. Spokeswoman Mandy Maier said up to 12 other homes within 800 metres of the blast were damaged.

Judy Forster told radio station CJME that she felt the explosion in the realty office where she works about a block away.

"We heard a big boom and we didn't know what the heck was going on, and then all of a sudden our ceiling came down," she said.

"Everything shook. We thought it was an earthquake."

Jaime Herman told CJME she heard a loud bang in her home two blocks away.

"I almost thought somebody ran into the house," she said. "There's insulation halfway across town."

No injuries have been reported at this time, but STARS air ambulance units from Regina and Saskatoon were dispatched to the scene.

RCMP ask that all residents that live between the area of 5th St. E. to 3rd St. W., and 5th Ave. north to the lake, head to the town's school gym to check in with officials and be accounted for.

With files from The Canadian Press

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

Wackiest Names On The Prairies