Explosion in downtown Wheatley – UPDATED

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Three people are in hospital following tonight’s explosion in Wheatley.

Municipal officials say a gas detection alarm went off at about 4:30 p.m.

First responders had evacuated the area closest to the alarm and were in the process of extending the evacuation area when the explosion occurred about 6 p.m.

Two buildings are heavily damaged.

Officials confirm the explosion occurred near 15 Erie St. N., the site of two previous hydrogen sulphide gas emissions earlier this summer.

The first discovery of the gas took place in June and prompted a state of emergency call by the mayor. 

A month later, the municipality declared a second state of emergency, an order that remained in effect, following another detection of the hydrogen sulphide.

A reception centre has been established at the Wheatley Arena for those who have been evacuated.

Emergency officials from Chatham-Kent remain on the scene .

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