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Apartment Building Explodes in Ottawa, 1 Killed

August 31, 1989

OTTAWA (AP) _ An explosion today destroyed part of a three-story apartment building in downtown Ottawa, killing one person and injuring at least three.

Police said firefighters had to cross a floor supported only by water pipes to rescue one woman from a basement apartment.

One of the first people to arrive at the scene said he found a dazed and bleeding woman walking near the building and a man lying in a pool of blood.

Police confirmed the death of an unidentified man and said three people were hospitalized, including the woman pulled from the basement.

Their conditions were not known.

Police believed the explosion was caused either by natural gas or propane.

Earlier unconfirmed reports said as many as four people were killed when the building exploded shortly after 9:30 a.m.

The building is in a fashionable neighborhood of renovated older homes, townhouses, boutiques and restaurants. It is about a mile south of Parliament.

Steve Legault, an Ottawa taxi driver, was returning to his apartment when he heard the explosion. He said that as he ran toward the building he encountered a dazed and bleeding woman.

″She was delirious and was crying that her 7-year-old son was still in the apartment,″ he said. Legault ran into the building where he said he saw a man lying in a doorway in a pool of blood. ″He was covered with blood and his head had deep cuts in it. I checked and I think he was dead,″ said Legault.

It was not immediately known if anyone was still trapped in the building.

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