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1 dead after explosion south of Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Deadly explosion in industrial area south of Edmonton' Deadly explosion in industrial area south of Edmonton
WATCH ABOVE: A devastating workplace incident south of Edmonton has claimed a man's life. Julia Wong reports on a deadly explosion in Nisku – Dec 27, 2018

An explosion Thursday morning at Ja-Co Welding in the Nisku Business Park left one person dead and at least one other person injured.

Emergency crews were called to 8 Street and 13 Avenue at around 8:15 a.m. after reports of an explosion.

Leduc RCMP said a man in his early 40s was pronounced dead at the scene. Mounties said another man was taken to hospital in Edmonton by EMS with serious injuries.

However, Alberta Health Services said one person was found dead at the scene and two other patients were taken to hospital; one in critical life-threatening condition and the other in stable condition.

WATCH BELOW: An explosion Thursday morning at Ja-Co Welding in the Nisku Business Park left one person dead.

Click to play video: 'Emergency crews respond to explosion in Nisku' Emergency crews respond to explosion in Nisku
Emergency crews respond to explosion in Nisku – Dec 27, 2018

Leduc County Fire Chief Keven Lefebvre said firefighters heard a “whoof” from a nearby fire hall, before being called to the business.

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“Two workers were badly injured in that explosion,” Lefebvre said. “All of the other workers, including them, are out and accounted for.”

“The rest of the people in the building had everybody outside by the time we got there, so we didn’t actually have to extricate anybody.”

Emergency are on scene at an explosion at a Nisku, Alta. business, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. Paul Rampersaud, Global News
Emergency are on scene at an explosion at a Nisku, Alta. business, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. Paul Rampersaud, Global News
Emergency crews are on scene at a reported explosion in Nisku, Alta., Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. Paul Rampersaud, Global News

Bryan Westcott works down the street at Overhead Crane Solutions and heard the explosion.

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“The walls shook. All the overhead doors shook,” Westcott said.

“I don’t know what to compare it to but it scared me. It made you cringe. We thought it was in our building so we actually walked outside and walked around and then saw it wasn’t.”

Twenty firefighters were on scene from the Nisku, Calmar and Edmonton International Airport stations.

Leduc RCMP said there is no concern for public safety but are asking the public to stay away from the area.

“After a primary search of the building, a decision was made to allow acetylene tanks, which were on fire, to vent off. This will mitigate risks on scene,” Lefebvre said.

The district chief said the explosion could be heard from kilometres away and there is extensive structural damage to the building.

“Obviously it was an industrial accident, so we’re just waiting for OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) to get here and we’ll turn the site over to them,” he said.

Greg Berg, owner of nearby Cyclone Supplies, was also at his store when the explosion happened.

“There was a really loud bang, boom and it rattled the whole building,” Berg said.

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“It was quite startling. In fact, a partner of mine came out back to see if something had happened in our own building. I ran outside to see if a truck that was unloading tipped over.”

Berg said the force of the explosion was strong.

“It was very powerful that’s for sure. It knocked some inventory that was on the shelves over and we had to go put that back. I know the whole building just shuttered.”

The business owner said it is terrible the incident happened.

“It’s a sad thing to come back to. I just feel for the families involved,” Berg said.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

“I wouldn’t venture to guess what’s going on,” Lefebvre said. “Like I said, it was some acetylene tanks that seemed to be on fire. I don’t know what the cause would be. It might take a while to figure that out.”

OHS confirmed investigators were being dispatched to the scene.

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