Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Photo Submitted

CRIMINAL INQUIRY BEGINS – A powerful explosion reduced the home at 17 Bates Cres. in Riverdale to a mountain of rubble. Photo courtesy GOOGLE EARTH

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

REDUCED TO RUBBLE – The home is seen early last Tuesday morning. A neighbour died in the blast.

Criminal investigation opened into explosion

The RCMP have opened a criminal investigation into last Tuesday’s home explosion in Riverdale.

By Whitehorse Star on November 20, 2023

The RCMP have opened a criminal investigation into last Tuesday’s home explosion in Riverdale.

“The Yukon RCMP Major Crimes Unit investigation continues into the circumstances of the home explosion on Bates Crescent,” police said Friday afternoon.

“At this time, police can confirm their investigation has expanded into a criminal inquiry.”

The blast occurred at about 5:30 a.m., destroying one house and damaging as many as a dozen others.

No other information about the investigation or a potential cause has been released by police.

“For privacy and operational reasons, the RCMP will not comment further on the ongoing investigation,” police said.

The owner of the destroyed house, Timothy Preston, was taken to Whitehorse General Hospital with critical injuries.

Next-door neighbour David Gould, 77, was killed.

“Long-time neighbour Mr. Gould died as a result of the damage to his home,” reads a news release from the Yukon Coroner’s Service.

An autopsy will be conducted this week in Abbotsford, B.C.

Power was knocked out to 40 homes as a result of “flying debris” from the blast, according to ATCO Electric Yukon.

At the scene on the morning of the explosion, Deputy Fire Chief Jason Wolsky told the Star officials didn’t yet know what the cause was, but would be working at the scene for several days with the RCMP to try to figure out what happened.

“It’ll start with interviewing any potential witnesses … looking into the history of the house, or the construction, talking to any neighbours,” Wolsky said, “and then we’ll slowly pull the scene apart to see if we can determine what caused the explosion.”

The RCMP is asking anyone with any further information about the event to contact the Yukon RCMP Major Crimes Unit at 667-5555.

Comments (7)

Up 49 Down 7

@Sarah D on Nov 21, 2023 at 7:48 pm

@Sarah D

Please enlighten us specifically as to where the RCMP indicated it was a B with an o and a mb. No where, and I mean no where, have they even remotely hinted at such. It is comments such as YOURS that insight fear and panic. They are required to investigate. That’s their JOB. And it’s their job to inform the public of such (lest god forbid folks such as you complain you aren’t then told anything).

You. You are actually part of the problem. Not the people trying to sort through a tragedy that has impacted so many people. Do better.

Up 59 Down 3

Resident on Nov 21, 2023 at 1:49 pm

Someone died, no surprise they're looking at it from a criminal angle. Doesn't mean there's a crime.

The deceased and their family deserve to know that this was an tragic accident and not the consequences of someone's malicious actions.

Up 10 Down 57

Sarah D on Nov 20, 2023 at 7:02 pm

Was there a crater? If so where, and how deep was it?
If not, tell the RCMP to stop alarming people unnecessarily. They're making it sound like this was a word beginning and ending with b and including an o and an m.
It wasn't. If it were, their reaction would be very different. Certainly they wouldn't be putting out press releases like this.
Negligence can be a crime. It also can be difficult to prove.
Satellite photos show a white cylindrical object between the two houses. Looks an awful lot like a propane tank. Pull the BFI at the City. (Building File Information, public knowledge, public access).

Up 42 Down 2

Matt on Nov 20, 2023 at 4:40 pm

Propane....? Of course but how did it get loose in the house.......I have propane heat and never went into orbit.

Up 23 Down 20

Josey Wales on Nov 20, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Well...the take away for me with this M proclamation?
Is the the Mounties still investigate criminal activity.
Thanks M for that, very many of us were wondering if that was something still done here in town.

Up 51 Down 13

@moose101 on Nov 20, 2023 at 3:31 pm


How about you take a seat and let the investigators and experts do their jobs to determine what happened rather than making assumptions you know nothing about?

Up 59 Down 41

moose101 on Nov 20, 2023 at 2:27 pm

Come on just say it Propane is the only thing that could cause a explosion like that !

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