Two paramedics were seriously injured while two Ottawa police officers sustained minor injuries Wednesday during a training exercise that involved the use of explosives to practice forced-entry techniques, police say.
The officers and paramedics were part of an exercise using explosives to force their way into an abandoned residence when the accident occurred, Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau told a news conference.
A third paramedic also sustained minor injuries, Bordeleau said. All five victims were immediately transported to hospital.
“There were three paramedics also that were injured, two of them more serious than the third one,” he said.
“Their injuries are serious in nature, but I am told they will recover.”
The exercise – part of a regular training routine that involves Ottawa police working closely with the RCMP and other emergency services – was taking place in the city’s western suburb of Kanata.
Bordeleau would provide only scant details of exactly what happened.
“The training exercise revolved around forced-entry explosives, which involves the use of small charges of explosives to open up doorways and windows,” he said.
“They were in proximity of the detonation and the ensuing gases that would have been released.”
Bordeleau said because the paramedics are considered civilians, the Special Investigations Unit is involved in the investigation.
“Explosives are used in training exercises and real live operations to assist officers to forcibly enter into residences or businesses to assist them in getting access to those buildings,” he said.
“What type of explosives, how it was detonated I can’t comment on because that will be part of the Special Investigations Unit investigation.”