No quick answers in explosion aftermath

A dead woman in the backyard, many homes destroyed from a massive explosion and melancholy letters referencing “Jesus” and “God” discovered nearby.


That’s what we know about the Mississauga explosion. There’s lots we don’t know.

Nobody seems to be in a hurry to explain.

Just what the hell is going on here? The authorities seem as stumped about the strange explosion on Hickory Drive.

“Our job right now is to try to identify what the fuel was that caused the explosion and how it got in there,” said Ontario Fire Marshal spokesman Jeff Minten.

From the 17-th floor of the adjacent condo building, with photographer Craig Robertson I watched two fire marshal investigators wade into the debris — trying to make sense of what caused this devastation that blew a bathtub on top of the rubble next to a stove, while the refrigerator landed on the driveway.

“The blast was so huge it cracked my balcony door and left a crack in the wall by the elevator,” said Farhad Parsi.

What he looks out over has shaken him. He could see the deceased’s body, which he says was removed at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“It’s very upsetting,” he said.

He said he never saw anything unusual occur in the home from his view.

“It appeared to be an older couple who lived there with an adult child,” he said. “They seemed to grow tomatoes and maybe made some homemade wine.”

The blue drums strewn over the backyard he believes were for that wine but he’s not 100% sure. The drums are about the only thing that seem to be in one piece. Looking down on the yard looks like the leftover rubble of an air strike.

The images are shocking visuals but they are not the story. The story is what is behind all of this? There are far more questions than there are answers.

Who is the deceased woman? Does she have a husband or offspring and, if so, where are they? What caused the explosion that obliterated one house and badly damaged several others?

And were bizarre writings found near the explosion which neighbours tell reporters say such things as “I trust God to look after me and my husband to take us home” and “dear Jesus please forgive me” a hint into a state of mind or unrelated?

If it were a TV show it would be a great plot with many twists in it. But it’s a real-life death scene. A woman died and many others could have.

Peel Regional Police are investigating and “keeping an open mind” as they go “where the investigation” takes them.

“Anything that is found in the area we’re going to treat as serious as it will help the police (and fire) investigations,” Sgt, Josh Colley told reporters, including my Toronto Sun colleague Nick Westoll.

You can tell police, fire, the fire marshal and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie are wisely taking this investigation slow and careful as professionals sift through every aspect of debris thoroughly.

Smartly, they want to nail down the facts first.

“We’re not anywhere near the epicentre of this investigation,” warned Minten.

This mystery may not be solved in 60 minutes. However it turns out, in today’s fast world of Twitter and instant online answers to everything, it feels unusual there is not a quick answer here. In the fullness of time it will be sorted out.

In the meantime the letters are being probed and, sources say, efforts are being made to properly identify the deceased and notify family.

The next thing to watch for is the fire marshal’s determination of the source of the explosion and how it blew.

No one is saying foul play was behind it, but no one is saying it wasn’t. At this point, nobody seems sure about just what did happen here.

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