OHS Canada Magazine

Welding truck explosion in Langley, B.C., felt like an earthquake: witness

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July 27, 2023
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety

An employee at a mall in Langley, B.C., says she heard a giant boom, the ground shook and she thought they were experiencing an earthquake.

Instead, RCMP say a welding truck in the mall’s parking lot had exploded in flames.

No one was hurt and police say in a statement the blast doesn’t appear to be suspicious.

Madalene Morton, an employee at Epiphany Neighbourhood Art Studios in the Willoughby Town Centre mall, says at first she thought someone had driven into the building, because the sound was so loud, then she assumed it was an earthquake.

Photos and video of the blast site show a lump of smouldering metal with only the truck’s grill recognizable, while the side of a neighbouring SUV is caved in and debris is strewn across the parking lot.


The blast happened Wednesday morning in the Metro Vancouver suburb about 50 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.

Morton says the explosion was a shock for customers and employees.

“When it happened, everything basically stopped for a good 15 to 20 minutes because everybody was leaving all of the buildings,” Morton says.

She said firefighters arrived and poured water on the fire.

“There was a building near where the explosion was and it was all blackened with soot. And the actual truck that exploded was in a whole bunch of pieces and steaming,” said Morton.

Mounties say the welding truck was associated with a construction site near the mall.

RCMP say an investigation into the explosion is ongoing.


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