New Westminster residents allowed to return home after suspected drug lab explosion

After two nights out of their homes, New Westminster residents of an apartment complex on Carnarvon Street have been told by officials they can finally go home.

A Hazmat team, along with police and fire officials, swarmed the area Sunday afternoon after an explosion rocked the neighbourhood.

One man has been arrested in relation to a suspected drug lab, but he has since been released. Investigators are looking at the possibility of laying charges. Police say they cannot confirm the type of chemicals involved or if they are drug-related.

“At this time, there is no longer a public safety risk,” said Staff Sgt. Stuart Jette. “All potentially harmful material has been removed from the building and disposed of appropriately. We remind residents that if they observe drug activity or suspicious behaviour in their building to call the NWPD.”

The New Westminster Police Department street crime unit remains on scene to investigate.

“What happened here could have been a lot worse,” said Sgt. Jeff Scott. “Many people could have been injured if that explosion was bigger or if fire had spread. We encourage residents to call us if they observe any drug activity or suspicious behaviour in their building.”

— With files from Gord MacDonald, CKNW

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