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Main thoroughfare in downtown Wheatley, Ont., reopens 9 months after explosion

Nine months after the explosion in Wheatley, Ont., the downtown's main thoroughfare has reopened.

Evacuation zone has been gradually reduced

Road closure signs are shown in Wheatley, Ont., in a 2021 file photo. On Tuesday, officials in Chatham-Kent said Talbot Road and Erie South have been reopened, while Erie Street North remains closed. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC)

Nine months after an explosion in Wheatley, Ont., the downtown's main thoroughfare has partially reopened.

Officials in Chatham-Kent announced Tuesday that Talbot Road and Erie South have been reopened. Erie Street North remains closed in the area.

An evacuation zone remains in place and crews are working on a well in a municipal parking lot near Erie and Elm Streets.

The current evacuation zone in Wheatley is outlined in purple in this map from Chatham-Kent municipality. (Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

The Aug. 26, 2021, explosion caused the collapse of two buildings at the corner of Erie Street North and Talbot Road East, and injured 20 of the town's 2,900 residents. It's believed it was caused by a gas leak.

Nearby residents and businesses have been out of their properties ever since as the blast and surrounding gas wells are investigated. 

In recent months, the evacuation zone has been gradually reduced and some residents were able to return to their homes.

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