Nfld. & Labrador

Emera shuts down Cape Ray site as it investigates rock striking home

Emera, the company behind the Maritime Link, has halted work at its Cape Ray job site and has asked contractors to investigate what caused a large rock to fly through the roof of a home in the community, narrowly missing a teenager.

Family home damaged by boulder Monday, just missing teen

The nearly seven-kilogram rock crashed through the kitchen ceiling, missing Aiden Wall by centimetres. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Emera, the company behind the Maritime Link, has halted work at its Cape Ray job site and has asked contractors to investigate what caused a large rock to fly through the roof of a home in the community, narrowly missing a teenager.

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

Blasting 250 metres away from the house caused a nearly seven-kilogram rock to crash through the roof. Aiden Wall, 18, was sitting just centimetres away from where the rock landed.

'It's unacceptable'

Marine Contracting, the main contractor on the site, and its subcontractor are investigating, said Jeff Myrick, senior manager of communications with Emera Newfoundland and Labrador.

"It's unacceptable. This is not how we conduct work," said Myrick.

"For us, safety is our number one priority and we take the safety of our employees, our contractors and the communities around us where we live and work very seriously."

Subcontractors began repairing the roof of the Wall's home Tuesday afternoon. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Once the investigation is finished and Emera receives the findings, Myrick said the company will decide how to proceed.

As part of the Maritime Link project, Emera is constructing a road from the tip of Cape Ray in southwestern Newfoundland, approximately three kilometres inland behind the town. The link will bring electricity from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project to Nova Scotia.

Blasting has been ongoing for the past four weeks, Myrick said.

"Up until that incident occurred there was no need or concern, everything was going on as normal so that's why we're looking into what happened to understand how and why and make sure it never happens again."

Emera's spokespeople can't say how the boulder could have travelled such a distance. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Myrick said another homeowner reported having mud flung up against the siding of a home in Cape Ray and coming through an open window due to blasting.

He said the company is also speaking with another homeowner to find out if any damage occurred at his home while he wasn't home.

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