A building in Donovans Industrial Park exploded this morning with multiple emergency crews racing to the scene on Kyle Avenue, Mount Pearl.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is advising people to avoid the area. The explosion occurred at the Trimac National Tank Services building, which has been destroyed.
A number of employees of the truck repair shop are being treated inside Eastern Health paramedic ambulance units. Three people have been sent to the Health Sciences Centre with undetermined injuries.
Debris is scattered everywhere and a number of vehicles have also been damaged by flying debris on the employee parking lot.
The RNC and Mount Pearl city police force closed the road to traffic until about 10:30 a.m.
There is a smell of burned oil in the air. Three of four sides of building were ripped apart and insulation and sheet metal was strewn all over.
A chain link fence prevented flying debris from hitting large tanks at the nearby North Atlantic fuel yard.
Provincial occupational health and safety officials were called to the scene, as well as Newfoundland Power crews to cut power to the building.
One resident of Mount Pearl said it was a quick, big boom tthat sounded like thunder around 8:15 a.m. and woke him up.
Nathan MacLeod, an employee of United Rentals on nearby Sagona Avenue, said he heard a really loud noise and also thought it was thunder, but even louder.
Around 9 a.m. he said there is still insulation blowing past his building from the destroyed structure.
Gerald Lane, who works at nearby Iron Works, said he heard a great big bang.
"All I seen was building materials, insulation and debris coming up the street. It shook our building like wicked," he said.
Krista Stacey lives near motor vehicle registration in Mount Pearl.
"I was asleep and it woke me up and frightened me actually. It sounded like a front loader had just dropped the bucket in my driveway from a height," she said.
The explosion was widely heard around metro.
"I was sitting down with a cup of tea when I thought I heard thunder," said a downtown St. John's resident.
Ricky Duggan of west-end St. John's said he also thought it was a huge clap of thunder.
"I didn't think much of it after that. Then, I turned on the radio and got word of the explosion in Donovans," he said.
As of around 11 a.m., some RNC patrol officers remained to secure the scene, as RNC investigators and provincial and federal occupational health and safety officials did their work amid a downpour.