One man is dead, but a woman and her family managed to escape a violent hostage-taking in Kamloops, B.C. last night that ended with an explosion destroying a family home.
The incident began late Thursday afternoon when a neighbour saw a man armed with a long gun burst into the home in the 1400 block of Cannel Drive.
"Shortly after entering the house, the suspect fired a shot into the ceiling of the home and told all but his former girlfriend to leave the house," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned.
"The new boyfriend grabbed the three children closest and fled out the front door while the other child fled to a bedroom and escaped by climbing out a window."
Police quickly surrounded the home, evacuated the neighbourhood and established contact with the 48-year-old Surrey man, who said he was distraught over his break up with the woman two years ago.
"The man told police that he had explosives wired to his body, that explosives were in the residence, that an explosive device was wired to the gas tank of his vehicle and that there was a second bomb in the car," said Learned.
"The suspect, who is an electrician by trade, provided specific details to the negotiator regarding how the explosives were wired and how he would be able to detonate the devices remotely."
Police negotiated with the man and finally after six and half hours, they managed to talk the suspect into letting the woman go unharmed.
Woman released unharmed
But shortly after the woman was released, the phone line went silent and two explosions rocked the house. As it went up in flames, a third explosion rocked the neighbourhood.
The fire crew tried to fight the flames, but could not approach the house because of concerns there were more explosives inside and in the suspect's vehicle that was parked nearby.
"As the heat and flame intensified, two RCMP bomb squad members ran to the suspect’s van to assess the threat of the reported explosive devices.
"Through the windows of the vehicle they could see a series of wires leading from a switch attached to the driver’s door and one set of wires attached to a metal pipe bomb on the vehicle consol. In the back, they could see a five gallon gas can and a 20 pound propane cylinder."
As the fire destroyed the family home, the fire crews were able to stop it from spreading to other homes and from reaching the van. Then after the fire was suppressed, bomb technicians were able to neutralize the pipe bomb in the van and a second similar bomb which they found underneath the vehicle.
"Police are still on the scene and have cordoned off the area around the house which is now being treated as a crime scene," said Learned.
"Investigators will start the arduous task of sifting through the rubble looking for the remains of the suspect and other evidence related to the explosions from within the house."
Police have not released the names of anyone involved.