No serious injuries but building badly damaged after explosion at Inuvik welding shop

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Two workers were fortunate to escape unharmed after a powerful explosion at an Inuvik welding shop Tuesday.

The town’s Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) Grant Hood says it happened mid-afternoon at Bob’s Welding on Industrial Street and he believes there was only two workers on site at the time.

He described it as a “flash boom.”

He says they both went to hospital later in the day, simply as a precaution.

Hood says it’s not clear at this point what caused the explosion adding that both the NWT Fire Marshal’s office and the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) are investigating.

He says the explosion did not lead to a fire.

Hood adds that the buildingcan not be entered until it is inspected by a structural engineer.

“The area was secured. Nobody was allowed in the building. Workers’ compensation did go in and said nobody’s allowed in the building from a safety standpoint,” Hood said. “I believe the structural engineer and the insurance company are coming in (Thursday).”

Hood says at least one wall and the roof of the one-storey building sustained substantial damage.

“One wall blew off. It’s laying on the ground. One wall’s kind of half-off. That’s why they don’t want anyone going in the building. The roof bowed a bit too.”

Bob’s Welding, owned by Bob Gully, has been in business for some 35 years.

It is also known for its gas station, rock crushing and barging services.

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