Community Centre closure - statement: November 10, 2018 - 1 p.m.
Statement by Mayor Frank
November 10, 2018 - 1 p.m.
RCMP Major Crimes shared additional details surrounding their investigation at the Community Centre this morning.
We were relieved to learn the investigation determined there was only one deliberate explosion; the second event likely being an ignited gas tank as a consequence of the heat generated. Unfortunately, a number of nearby cars were also damaged.
I can also confirm that after searching the buildings and surrounding area for additional threats to safety, the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit and Tactical Operations were unable to locate any further threats. It has not yet been determined what type of explosive was used, nor has the RCMP been able to determine any specific motives for the event. They have indicated that they are not currently seeking any additional suspects.
The RCMP did share that an examination of the suspect vehicle led to the seizure of multiple firearms. No additional explosives were found in his vehicle or any other vehicles.
Security reviews are done regularly at our County. One is currently underway and will obviously take this incident into consideration. We are working swiftly and thoroughly with law enforcement on the current review. This will be our top priority.
With their work on scene complete, the RCMP has returned control of the Community Centre parkade to Strathcona County. Our priority now is to get the vehicles back to their owners quickly and safely, without adversely impacting owners’ vehicle insurance.
Before that happens, we must complete an indoor contamination assessment of the parkade and vehicles to properly understand any health risks as a result of the explosion. We must also complete a more detailed structural assessment.
The earliest we expect results from the environmental testing is Tuesday next week. The results from these assessments will inform our next steps. Staff began to call vehicle owners this morning with information about next steps. To that end, we are advising vehicle owners to contact their insurance company to determine their coverage and any action required once they receive their vehicle back.
Upon initial visual inspection, most of the vehicles appear to be operational; however, it’s what we can’t see that we are paying close attention to. Safely removing more than 100 vehicles from the parkade will take some time, and we appreciate owners’ patience as we work through the necessary steps.
Work continues to repair any damage to the Community Centre, and to do the work necessary to restore these buildings to full operation. Council had an opportunity to walk through the building yesterday, and to observe the impact of the explosions first hand. I was pleased to see the damage was not more extensive; however, we did see residue on most surfaces, and that is our present concern.
I would like to thank our staff and responders for their professionalism, and our residents for their understanding and patience.