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Sherwood Park explosions caused $14M in damage

The Nov. 6 explosions that left one man dead and rocked the community of Sherwood Park, Alta., caused $14 million in damage, Strathcona County announced Wednesday.

Council approved the spending of $14 million in unbudgeted funds, as is policy for any spending over $2 million, to repair the damage caused by the explosions.

“We thank everyone for their patience. This is a large incident with many moving pieces, and we are grateful for the high level of professionalism demonstrated by recovery experts and staff,” said Mayor Rod Frank.

“We continue to move forward as swiftly and safely as possible to return to normal business.”

Fire crews were called to the Strathcona County Community Centre in the heart of Sherwood Park on the evening of Nov. 6 after a report of an explosion and a fire. After a second explosion, the scene was handed over to RCMP.

A lone man was found injured in a vehicle in the parkade where the explosions occurred. He was taken to hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries. He was later identified as 21-year-old Kane Kosolowsky. Police haven’t released a motive for the explosion, as the investigation is ongoing.

An environmental assessment was performed to help officials formulate a plan to deal with the damage and to keep residents and workers safe. Now, more detailed assessments are taking place, which will determine the final costs to repair the damage. The county said the true cost of the incident will not be known until the restoration is complete.

The community centre is directly over the parkade where the explosions took place, and the county expects it to be closed for another 90 days. The library and businesses inside the centre are still closed.

Sherwood Park is a community of about 71,000 just east of Edmonton.

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