A video sent to MTLBlog by user Lina Garcia appears to show a large explosion outside a storefront in Montreal's La Petite Patrie borough near the intersection of rue André and rue Bélanger. The restaurant behind the explosion has been identified as the Bar de nos aïeux.
Details are few, but it appears the explosion actually originates from a manhole on the sidewalk. If that is the case, it could be the result of wire erosion due to salt spread on roads in the winter. This phenomenon has caused manhole explosions in many cities. More details to come in this developing story.
Meanwhile, the entire STM Blue line has been shut down due to a power failure as Hydro Quebec also contends with high demand during extreme cold. It is unclear if these events are related, but this timing, and the proximity of the explosion to the Blue line certainly suggest a link.
UPDATE: it now appears that the incidents are, indeed, connected. According to TVA, smoke is also spreading through metro tunnels.
UPDATE: as of 4:35 PM, normal service has resumed on the Blue line.
Normal métro service #stminfo S— Ligne Bleue (@stm_Bleue) January 17, 2019
UPDATE: as of 6:45 PM, thousands of people are still without power in Montreal. Read more here.
Watch the video below:
Stay tuned for updates.