COMOX, B.C. — A gas line exploded Thursday at a Canadian Forces base on Vancouver Island, injuring multiple people. 

British Columbia’s public safety minister, Mike Farnworth, told a news conference the explosion happened at 19 Wing Comox and emergency responders were on site alongside natural gas supplier FortisBC, although he offered no further details. 

The head of the Canadian Armed Forces posted on Twitter Thursday, saying his thoughts were with those hurt in the explosion. 

Acting Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre wished them a rapid recovery and thanked emergency personnel for their quick response.

Capt. Brad Little, the 19 Wing public affairs officer, couldn’t confirm how many people were hurt but, says one person was flown to hospital by helicopter. 

A statement from National Defence says the explosion happened in a barrack building under renovation and early information indicates that a contractor may have been working on a drain with a machine when a gas line was hit. 

Little was in the building next door and says the concussive blast knocked pictures off the walls and blew out windows at one end of the building.

Helicopters and personnel from 19 Wing were involved in the rescue of hundreds of people stuck between two mudslides along a highway on Monday and the Defence Department says the blast has not affected any of the base’s ongoing operations.

It says multiple injuries were reported and some people were taken to hospital.

B.C.’s worker protection agency will investigate the cause, it says, with additional investigations by the Canadian Forces fire marshall, military police and Fortis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2021. 

The Canadian Press