Man killed in industrial explosion on Red Deer outskirts

Loud explosion heard across Hwy 2 in city

A 35-year-old man was killed in an explosion in an industrial subdivision on the west outskirts of Red Deer on Thursday afternoon.

Two witnesses in the area reported that they heard and felt the explosion at 1:40 p.m. in the Belich Industrial area.

When they rushed over across the street to the back of one corner of the nearby business — J Moore Enterprises at 30 Belich Cres. — they found the back of a tanker truck ripped open by the explosion, and there was smoke and a fire that burned for about 10 minutes.

“It sounded like it was from right next door here … just one really big bang,” said Phillip Madsen who was at work at Canadian Closet.

His co-worker, Rick, who did not want to give his last name, said he has first aid, and he wanted to rush in and try and help, but there was another tanker truck right next to the explosion and they were unsure of how safe the scene was. He also did not have the proper equipment.

They said that emergency responders, who arrived within 10 minutes, rushed into the scene right away.

Jordon Ohman, who works at another nearby business, Kello-Bilt, said they felt the explosion also and rushed out to see what had happened.

He said he didn’t notice anyone else around at the scene. The explosion was very loud and completely shook the building he works in. He did not know anyone at the business where the explosion occurred.

There were several reports on social media of people hearing and feeling the explosion on the west side of Red Deer in Oriole Park.

Red Deer County fire and traffic members attended the scene, as well as RCMP and ambulance. RCMP were employing the use of a drone on scene to gather more information. Victim Services was also called to the scene.

Blackfalds RCMP said Alberta Occupational Health and Safety now have control of the investigation into the cause of the explosion, which has not been determined.

barr@reddeeradvocate

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