Literally. I am about a week late with this news, but I’ve been waiting for photographs and video footage to appear online. Last Sunday morning, in the wee hours, the Sunrise Propane company in Toronto went off like the Fourth of July, as container after container of propane converted themselves into spectacular fireballs. Police are apparently still searching for the cause.
Several people that I know were awoken during the night by the sounds, but ascribed them to a summer thunderstorm. (This at a distance of several kilometers.) Others, including a few work colleagues, who were nearer to the site had their homes badly damaged. About 12 000 people were evacuated from their homes, and some have still not been able to return. Sadly, two people — one employee of the company and one city firefighter — died on the scene. It was more than a harmless spectacle.
But it was spectacular, all the same. Here is some footage taken from a fairly distant apartment building. From this distance it looks like a big, serious fire, with occasional bursts of flame. Then (at around the 1:50 mark in this clip) a huge blast, complete with mushroom cloud, fills the sky. This is staggering to behold:
Here is another clip that shows what I believe is the same enormous blast, but from much closer. Watch carefully: you can actually see the shockwave propagating from the blast center:
(Apologies for the bad language in this clip.)
In the end, the site of the Sunrise Propane company was laid waste. There’s really nothing left of it. Here, courtesy Google Maps, is the site before the incident:
And here is an aerial photo taken afterward:
Incredible. All of this took place about 2 km from where I work.