Several homes were destroyed in east Ottawa Monday morning after a gas leak triggered an explosion.

Firefighters say they rescued one person from the wreckage alive.

Later Monday morning, paramedics said two people are unaccounted for and believed to be in the rubble, and that emergency crews are looking for them.

Ottawa paramedics say they got their first call about a loud noise coming from the area of a construction site at about 6:25 a.m.

Ottawa firefighters said a gas leak caused an explosion that had “taken out” multiple houses under construction.

Police said it’s unclear if people were living in the affected homes. Firefighters said they rescued one person from the wreckage who was stable and talking.

Gas is still leaking, firefighters announced at 7:10 a.m. They’ve scheduled a media briefing for 9:30 a.m.

Paramedics said they had assessed eight people with minor injuries in the surrounding area as of 7:20 a.m.

They later said one of them — a man — had been pulled from the house where the explosion appears to have originated, and that he was in serious but stable condition.

Two of the eight are children.

Tenth Line Road is closed between Décoeur Drive and Wall Road, which is south of Brian Coburn Drive. The scene is about 20 kilometres east of Ottawa’s core.

A line of emergency vehicles, mostly fire trucks, along a suburban street at dawn.
Emergency crews line up along Tenth Line Road in east Ottawa after an explosion Feb. 13, 2023. (Radio-Canada)

Close to the scene, Anthony Dinardo told CBC the noise was so loud he thought something had happened at his home. 

“I was in a deep sleep and I heard a large explosion, so large it shook the ground … I thought that a car had hit the house,” he said.

Another person tweeted to CBC Ottawa that the explosion shook their house about 15 kilometres away in east Gatineau, Que.

Ottawa police say OC Transpo buses are being sent to the area to keep affected people warm. They’re set up at the intersection of Tenth Line and Sweetvalley Drive and also at 2370 Tenth Line Rd.

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