Nfld. & Labrador

Blasting debris strikes Cape Ray home, narrowly misses teen

A family on Newfoundland's west coast are shaken after an almost seven-kilogram rock crashed through the roof of their home Monday evening and nearly struck their teenage son.

Family lives near blasting site for Emera's Maritime Link, subsea cable tied to Muskrat Falls project

Narrow miss for teen as rock strikes Cape Ray, N.L., home, after construction blast at Muskrat Falls project 1:45

A family on the west coast of Newfoundland are shaken after an almost seven-kilogram rock crashed through the roof of their home Monday evening and nearly struck their teenage son. 

The Wall family of Cape Ray was preparing supper around 4 p.m. NT when they felt the walls and ceiling of their home shake, as though they were experiencing an earthquake.  

Helena Wall, who lives 250 metres from the blasting site, says she hasn't slept since the incident. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"Moments later the ceiling exploded," Helena Wall told CBC News Tuesday.

"We didn't know what happened but, after we looked around, we found a huge rock that had come through our ceiling."  

The family lives 250 metres away from a blasting site for Emera's Maritime Link, a subsea cable initiative that's part of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.

While there have been previous blasts, Wall said she's never heard or felt anything while inside her home.     

When the rock crashed through the ceiling, Wall said it also filled her home with debris. The floor, she said, is ruined, while her fridge and a glass door have been damaged. 

But most alarming of all was that the boulder fell just centimetres from her 18-year-old son, Aiden, who was sitting at a computer desk in the kitchen. 

Emera Newfoundland and Labrador said all work at the site has been suspended while the company investigates how this rock crashed into the house. (Colleen Connors/CBC)
"I was trembling," she said. "It was so upsetting."

The severity of the situation didn't hit the family until some time later. 

"It didn't occur to us right away what could of happened, that was later when we [said], 'Oh my God, he was sitting right here.' He could have been killed," Wall said. 

"It's pretty stressful. We didn't sleep last night."

Representatives from Emera have since visited the home, and the company said it will pay for all repairs, which Wall estimates to be around $3,000.

Blasting suspended

Subcontractors began repairing the roof of the Wall's home Tuesday afternoon. (Colleen Connors/CBC)
According to Jeff Myrick, the senior manager of communications with Emera Newfoundland and Labrador, all work at the site has been suspended while the company investigates the incident.

"For something like this to happen, we want to make sure that it doesn't happen again, so that's why work is stopped," Myrick told CBC News.

Subcontractors Marine Contractors Inc. and Newfoundland Hard-Rok Inc., hired to blast at the site, will repair the damage to the Wall's home.

Crews began repairing the roof Tuesday afternoon.

With files from Colleen Connors

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