Man charged with criminal negligence, arson in Ottawa explosion

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By Robin MacLennan
Ontario Construction Report staff writer

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a dozen charges in relation to an explosion in Orléans that injured 12 people and destroyed four houses that were under construction last month.
Kody Troy Crosby has been charged with four counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and arson causing bodily harm, Ottawa police said Mar. 2.

The man is also charged with arson with disregard for human life and arson causing property damage. He is also charged with two counts of breaking and entering.

explosionThe explosion on Feb. 13 destroyed four homes that were under construction and damaged many more in a wide radius. Two people were rescued from the rubble with serious injuries and several others were hospitalized, including children.

The blast occurred at about 6:18 a.m. at a site being developed by Minto Group development, said Ottawa deputy fire chief David Matschke.

Ottawa Fire Services reported that two people were trapped and pulled out of the rubble.

“Firefighters used chainsaws to cut through a large amount of debris & have rescued one person from the wreckage,” OFS said on Twitter at 7:31 a.m. “Individual was stable & talking.”

About three hours after the explosion, firefighters said they rescued a second person.

“At 09:31, we rescued a second individual from the wreckage. All our specialty teams are on scene and did excellent work locating and rescuing the individual who was trapped inside a collapsed home surrounded by a large amount of debris,” OFS said in an update.

The Ontario Fire Marshal is leading the investigation with Ottawa Police Service and Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.

Salvation Army and Canadian Red Cross workers spent the day at the Minto Sales Centre down the street from the site of the explosion, to help people who have been displaced.
Homes were under development by Minto Group. The developer says it has a team on the ground to address the needs of the community.

Other model homes are being used as temporary shelter spaces for residents who have been evacuated.

“We are working with authorities to identify the cause of the explosion and fully co-operating in the investigation,” Strachan said in a statement. “We will share more information as it becomes available. As always, safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with everyone affected.”

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