Propane blasts 'sounded like warfare'

Here is a collection of personal accounts of the early-morning propane depot explosions in Toronto North, sent by commenters.

Here is a collection of personal accounts of the early-morning propane depot explosions in Toronto North, sent by commenters:

  • I live several blocks from the scene (Bathurst/Glencairn), but the initial explosion woke me up to a brightly lit sky. Quite unnerving at 4 a.m.! The continued explosions (must have gone on for over an hour) sent fireballs into the air that were clearly visible even from this distance. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be closer to the actual neighbourhood, but the ferocity of it all makes me fear for the residents of any homes nearby. I now hear there were workers at the site. I can only pray that this does not turn out to be the massive disaster that it seemed in the early hours from my vantage point.  ( "-PeBo-" wrote at 8:51 a.m. ET)
  • I live in York University, and I was woken up by the explosions. First I thought it was a thunderstorm, then I felt the door and window were shaking and there was a bright flash in the sky close to 4 a.m. It was frightening. ( "sarryz" wrote at 8:56 a.m. ET)
  • I can't explain the scenarios that were going through my head at 4:30 this morning with the explosions going strong for an hour and my windows rattling. There was a lot of panic in my household, which wasn't helped by the fact that 911 had a busy signal all night. ( "JmcDunn" wrote at 9:56 a.m. ET)
  • I am a security guard at a motel in Niagara Falls. I was outside on a patrol about this time and I saw a really weird flash in the sky that may well have been this. It certainly wasn't lightning. I think it was actually big enough to be spotted from here. I'm glad no one was killed. ( "Horatio Tyllis" wrote at 9:58 a.m. ET)
  • I live 9 km south of the incident site. Shortly before 4 a.m. I heard a loud, low thunder-like rumble which registered to me as non-meteorological. What made me figure that is knowing my west-facing window was half-open and saw my venetian blind billow inwards at the same time the noise reached me. This happened twice before I looked out the window and could see a reddish glow in the early morning sky.  ( "ajsdecepida" wrote at 10:18 a.m. ET)
  • I live about 8 km away (mainly eastward, slightly north) from the explosion. The force of the explosion(s) rattled our windows multiple times.  I figured it was thunder and lightning hitting very close by. But as the constant "popping" continued for about an hour, with quite a few window-rattling booms, I kept thinking this is one weird thunder storm ... and it wasn't raining. It sounded like warfare. Sounds like most injuries are minor, and that is incredible considering the force of the blast has apparently destroyed peoples' homes. Unreal. ( "tim..c" wrote at 11:48 a.m.)
  • I live about 2 km away from the blast zone and, to me, it sounded almost like we were being bombed. Of course, without seeing flashes I knew it could have either been some strange thunder or a series of explosions. Very glad that no one got seriously hurt. Hope everyone is okay. ( "Aagame" wrote at 11:52 a.m. ET)
  • As a light sleeper, I was semi-awake at 4 a.m. and heard what sounded like an explosion, followed by two or three more not as powerful explosions. These were faint sounds as my house faces north, the windows were open in the second-floor bedroom and it was very quiet outside. I live just a few blocks north of the Danforth near Coxwell. I asked my wife if she heard the sounds but by that time, there were many sirens sounding. It didn't seem as though the sirens were related to the booms that I had heard, as the booms sounded as though they were very far away. That is how far the sound travelled during a very quiet night. ( "HenryD" wrote at 12:34 a.m. ET)
  • I was watching the diving Olympic games this morning from 2:30-3:40 a.m. and I heard the explosion sound clearly. I thought it was just BIG thunders as it's always rainy with thunders these days. I didn't realize it's actually due to the explosion until this morning, but I did hear several big explosive sounds during a few minutes. ( "luluchow" wrote at 12:36 p.m. ET)
  • We were awakened at about 3.50? this morning by a loud bang. Our little dog was quite alarmed by all the booming and would not stop barking. I stood out on the deck and it sounded like bombing going on. Also heard the most sirens I had ever heard. The noise went on for quite a long time. I was up until about 4:30 and it was still booming out there. We live around Bloor/Dufferin. I am glad there were so few people hurt! It sounded very serious. ( "reward64" wrote at 1:03 p.m. ET)
  • We live in close proximity to the incident, and were definitely affected by the events early this morning. We were startled by what sounded like a deafening crack of thunder, followed shortly after by the sounds of explosions. Our apartment shook from the aftershocks, and we could see the balls of flames shooting through the sky. My first instinct was that it was a gas explosion of some sort; however there were many other real possibilities going through our minds. To those who have used this occasion to make jokes about Torontonians, I wonder how they would have reacted if it were a terrorist attack, or a commercial jet crashing into a residential neighbourhood. Those were real scenarios running through our minds at the time. The vast majority of us here are working-class people who struggle just as hard as other Canadians to make ends meet and feed our families. Those people evacuated were mainly elderly people and young families — a little support to them would go a long way, as they face the task of sorting through what is left of their homes. To those who have offered their support and well-wishes, thank you kindly. ( "geoffreyjp" wrote at 2:15 p.m. ET)