Police charge man hurt in Brandon, Man., house explosion with 2nd-degree murder

A man who was inside a Brandon home when it exploded is being charged with second-degree murder, police announced in a release Saturday.

The body of a 63-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble following Tuesday evening blast

A woman died and a man was taken to hospital after an explosion at a home in Brandon, Man., Tuesday evening. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

A man who was inside a Brandon, Man., home when it exploded is being charged with second-degree murder, police announced in a release Saturday.

Police were called to the single-storey house on Queens Avenue E. around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

They found a 63-year-old woman dead in the house and a 63-year-old man in critical condition. He was airlifted to Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre. Brandon is about 200 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

The front of the home on Queens Avenue E. was torn open and a mattress and other household items were strewn across the front lawn and onto neighbouring properties. 

The scene of the explosion on Tuesday night. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Police remained at the scene for more than 36 hours following the explosion. A fence has since gone up around the ruins. 

On Friday, officers from the major crimes unit went to Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre, where the man was being released from care, and arrested him.

Police wouldn't get into specifics of the investigation, but a spokesperson said Thursday that the circumstances of the explosion and the events that led up to it were being looked at by investigators. 

Neighbours CBC News interviewed the day after the explosion said they believed the house was under renovation at the time. They described hearing a loud boom the night of the explosion, only to find the house in ruins.

Land title documents obtained by CBC News show the home had been recently sold and was registered to Robert and Betty Hughes in July 2019. 

The family said they had no comment when reached by CBC News. 

Robert and Betty Hughes had purchased the home in July 2019. Neighbours told CBC News that they had seen tools and other items being moved in and out of the house through the summer. (Betty Hughes/Facebook)

Police said the suspect was brought back to Brandon to stay at the Brandon Correctional Centre.

He will appear before a justice on Saturday.

Brandon police said they plan to release more information about the explosion at a press conference on Monday.

The blast blew apart the walls of the home, sending debris and household items onto the front lawn. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

With files from Riley Laychuk