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Some Orleans residents return home after Monday's explosion

Eighteen families returned to their homes in Orleans Wednesday evening, two days after Monday's explosion levelled four homes under construction and severely damaged many more.  

"We did have our building code team in… and did deem a number of properties structurally safe to reoccupy," Coun. Catherine Kitts said.

"We've been working with Minto, with Hydro One, with Enbridge to resume services to those homes. And once the site is safe and secure, we're looking at perhaps being able to stagger some residents going back home." 

Excavation of the blast site started Wednesday and it is expected to take crews several days to clear the rubble. It comes after a drone was used for hours on Tuesday to gather aerial footage. 

Kitts says all impacted residents have had somewhere to stay since Monday—either with friends or family or in a hotel. Minto's president says early indications show the blast may have been caused by a natural gas leak, though the investigation is still underway.  

Kitts has been at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex for the past few days with other officials providing the latest information to residents and offering any assistance.  

"We're continuing to manage, it's been a really traumatic event and I think residents have been patient and we've all been working collaboratively together," Kitts says. "All the partners; Ottawa police, Ottawa fire, the Ontario Fire Marshal, myself we were all on a call this morning to get coordinated so we're all kind of working to make sure residents feel supported and, of course, they can come here (Ray Friel) to get information." Top Stories

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