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Explosion Rocks Old Town Apartments

5 May 06

After a series of sketchy newsflashes, here's the final version of the Sentinel's explosion coverage. Sounds like the building was wrecked. And it definitely sounds like Miranda's place. A gas leak is blamed. There are several casualties, but no mention of Kurt.

The artist's impression is terrific.


By JEREMY CLARIDGE

A major explosion occurred this afternoon in the Old Town, in the vicinity of the Caldera subway station. The affected building is Highview on Centine Way, just off The Shift. The building is heavily damaged and ablaze; thus far, rescuers have only emerged with one woman and two small children. It is feared that there will be no additional survivors, due to the severity and unexpected nature of the blast. In addition, firefighter Bryce Coriander is missing; the building partially collapsed while he was inside during the last rescue foray, and his team fears the worst.

Three residents have been confirmed dead, though no identification has been made. Firefighters are still working to minimise damage to neighbouring properties. Fire chief Ryda Stoneford said she suspects the explosion was caused by a major leak in a gas main, and has confirmed that there will be a very serious inquiry into the matter. "No maintenance problem should have become so serious it could have resulted in something like [this explosion], not even in the Old Town," she said.

Explosion

Explosion at Centine Way

As a precautionary measure, gas mains have been shut down to all buildings within two blocks of the fire. Stoneford says the situation appears to be under control, and she believes the fire will be extinguished by the end of the day.

Emergency medical teams are currently treating the woman and both children who were rescued from the burning building. They have been identified as Faye, Amber and Chester Yung. The three have reportedly suffered from serious smoke inhalation and minor burns. A number of injured bystanders who were struck by debris when the explosion occurred have already received first aid or been transported to the hospital.

Faye Yung, mother of the two children, has said that she feels "exceptionally grateful to be alive," and does not know how her family survived the blast. "I think it's not something I should question too hard," she said.

The building houses roughly 70 occupants, though it is hoped that most residents were not home due to the blast's timing during the regular workday.

Last updated: 4:04pm

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