Man dies following explosions, fire near Edmonton
Nov. 8, 2018, Edmonton - Police say a 21-year-old man is dead following two explosions at a county office in a bedroom community just east of Edmonton.
Emergency crews were called to reports of a fire on Tuesday night at a complex that houses the Strathcona County office, council chambers and the town library in Sherwood Park, said RCMP Supt. Dave Kalist.
Kalist said there was an explosion in the building's underground parkade, which prompted an evacuation. A male suspect — whom Kalist wouldn't name — was found in a vehicle in the parkade and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Kalist wouldn't say how the man died, but added police were not involved in his death.
"At approximately 8:15 p.m., there was a second explosion in the parkade while our members were in close proximity," Kalist said Wednesday. "The cause and origin of these explosions is still under investigation. No one was injured.
"We don't yet have a motive for this incident. That is certainly part of the investigation and we are looking into that."
Sharon Siga, the library's director, said an explosion could be felt inside the building at the time of the fire, but library staff got out safely.
A nearby senior's centre was evacuated. The community centre and library inside the complex, as well as two nearby schools and a performing arts centre, were closed Wednesday as police conducted their investigation.
The building housing county offices and the library will be closed until further notice.
"Right now, our explosive disposal unit is being very thorough in their search of the building for any other devices," said Kalist, who added police were not yet sure what explosive material was used.
"As we move forward, the integrity of the building is going to be examined."
Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank called it a "desperate action" which could have been far more tragic.
"While these unprecedented explosions have rocked our close-knit community, I know our community will overcome this isolated incident," he said.
"It's impossible right now to know the motivation for this desperate action. I can tell you that I have full confidence in the RCMP's investigative ability to undercover these unanswered and very important questions."
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