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Transcona residents left in limbo two weeks after explosion

Two weeks after a home exploded on June 26 in their Winnipeg suburb, a group of Transcona residents became the definition of community: working together to clear debris from roofs and vacuuming glass from lawns and driveways.

Their efforts ran into an unexpected snag. City of Winnipeg waste management workers wouldn’t pick up garbage and recycling from homes in the area, leaving tags on bins citing damage to the bins as a reason why.

When the residents called 3-1-1 to request replacements for the bins damaged in the explosion, City staff told them they would have to pay out of pocket.

Recycling and garbage bins that were damaged in the blast. Drew Stremick / Global News

Councillor Brian Mayes, who chairs the Water, Waste and Environment committee, told Global News the answer given to the neighbours is unacceptable.

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“It does seem to be a situation you couldn’t have reasonably foreseen,” said Mayes. “(The City) should probably pick up the cost. I may not win that fight, but I do think these folks have a valid point.”

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Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt told Global News over the phone that he couldn’t comment directly on an active investigation, but did express sympathy for those affected by the incident.

A social media post calling out local officials
A resident took to social media to express disappointment with government officials. Brandi Neves

Resident Brandi Neves posted on social media that it was ‘shameful’ that no government officials – at the city or provincial level – had reached out to offer help after the catastrophic event. She called on Ward councillors and the local MLA to do something to address outstanding issues.

Mayor Scott Gillingham spoke with Neves on the phone Wednesday afternoon and committed to having various city departments out there within a week to address her concerns.

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As for what caused the explosion in the first place, neither the Winnipeg Police Service nor the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service were able to provide an update as of the time of writing.

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