Security video captured the moment a London, Ont. house explosion startled a group of people enjoying a late night dip in a hot tub Wednesday night.
In the footage provided to CTV News, resident Nikki Best is seen relaxing in the hot tub with another woman as a man towels himself off next to it. Suddenly in the distance, the explosion lights up the sky.
“It was the scariest, most intense thing I’ve ever heard,” Best told CTV News Channel on Friday. “I can still feel the boom inside. It just shook me to the core.”
In the video, Best yells for the man to call the police. “Oh my God! Call 911 please!” she shouts at him as he urges, “Get out of the tub!” The group then scurries around the patio as a large plume of smoke forms in the distance.
“I panicked and didn’t know what else to do,” said Best. She soon headed over to the explosion zone on Woodman Avenue to offer help.
“It wasn’t as chaotic as I thought (it would be),” she said of the scene. “Everything was very under control. Our emergency personnel did an amazing job. All I could see was just billowing smoke, black and white smoke. The flames weren’t really there at that time. It was just intense smoke, the gas smell.”
A woman was charged with impaired driving after a vehicle slammed into a home in the city, hitting a gas line. Police said 12 minutes after arriving on scene, the explosion occurred. Six first responders and one civilian were injured. On Thursday night, two more homes were cleared for re-entry, meaning all but 10 families were permitted to return to their homes.
London residents have been urged to offer support by donating money, food or clothing to various local charities for the families affected in the Old East Village neighbourhood.
“The Old East Village has really come around to do anything we can to help the people here,” said Best. “At this point all we can do is help rebuild.”