Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit July 11, 2017 - 3:19 pm

Two men dead after boat explosion in Nunavut capital

RCMP still investigating cause of explosion July 6 in Lower Base neighbourhood

The scene of the July 6 explosion in Iqaluit shows the remains of splintered boat. (PHOTOS BY STEVE DUCHARME)
The scene of the July 6 explosion in Iqaluit shows the remains of splintered boat. (PHOTOS BY STEVE DUCHARME)
Debris from the explosion July 6 in Iqaluit's Lower Base area is visible on nearby rooftops.
Debris from the explosion July 6 in Iqaluit's Lower Base area is visible on nearby rooftops.

(Updated July 11 at 3:15 p.m.)

Two men are now dead and one is still recovering in a southern hospital after an explosion destroyed a boat that was parked alongside an Iqaluit house, July 6.

Nunavut’s chief coroner, Padma Suramala, confirmed that a 50-year-old man died the day of the explosion and another man, aged 57, died in Ottawa on July 9. She said she is coordinating the investigation with the Ontario coroner service.

She did not know the current medical condition of the third man and told our reporter it’s not her job to know that information.

Suramala said the names of the deceased will not be released at this time.

Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 4:15 p.m. on Ben Ell Drive in the Lower Base area of Iqaluit, the RCMP’s “V” Division media coordinator, Sgt. David Lawson, confirmed to Nunatsiaq News.

Investigators are still determining the cause of the explosion, Lawson said, adding that the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission and the Office of the Chief Coroner of Nunavut will be assisting in the investigation. Police do not suspect foul play.

The RCMP news release said that the three men were working on the boat at the time when an explosion occurred, inside the boat.

Debris from the explosion could still be seen, early July 7, on the rooftops of nearby houses.

Fencing and police tape surround the scene of the explosion and the two houses the boat was parked between, as well as an open area behind the lots.

All that remains of the boat is a shell, with the keel of the hull visible under the rubble of the splintered boat cabin.

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(20) Comments:

#1. Posted by close it on July 07, 2017

The boat belonged to John Manning. Why are the comments always left opened for sensitive stories with ongoing investigations???

#2. Posted by close on July 07, 2017

Good grief! This article should be closed to commenting. Show some sense and sensitivity.

#3. Posted by Iqaluit resident on July 07, 2017

Yeah #1 I agree some thoughtless person could say the names / name of the people involved before their families are notified.

#4. Posted by Why? on July 07, 2017

Why, if you are concerned with the comments being open on such an obviously sensitive topic are you saying names?  Sounds a bit insensitive to me, no?

#5. Posted by Huh? on July 07, 2017

No one asked who’s boat it was so why comment on it if you don’t want comments? 

Sad story, wishing the family of the man that die peace and a speedy recovery for the other two gentlemen.

#6. Posted by Newguy on July 07, 2017

Does anyone really care about the boat or who owns it? My god man.

#7. Posted by Tommy on July 07, 2017

Proved your point #1…Why are insensitive people always providing names and info to stories??

#8. Posted by iqaluitmiut on July 08, 2017

stop this comment thing Nunatsiaq.

#9. Posted by Close it. on July 08, 2017

Close the comments. The investigation is ongoing and names have not been released. Close this so sensitive information isn’t disclosed publicly.  You should know better, Nunatsiaq News.

#10. Posted by My oh my on July 09, 2017


#11. Posted by Derrick Mullett on July 09, 2017

I would like to give my regards to this gentleman and his family. He was my cousin. May the kingdom the power and the glory be yours now and forever Amen. Please Folks be sensitive in these times, as we all don’t need to be reminded. Stand up with your head down. Amen.

#12. Posted by My oh my on July 10, 2017

Why is it that for interesting articles that people could have a good debate over doesn’t have the ability to comment, but after numerous pleas ( see above) this article has comment capability.  Tasteless and disrespectful.  I think some apologies are due to the family…and posting the comment with names?  Shame on you.

#13. Posted by Really?? on July 10, 2017

Interesting, how is it Nunatsiaq New’s fault?
Is it not peoples choice to post insensitive material?
I agree apologies are due but not by Nunatsiaq News but by the unscrupulous posters of the above rubbish…

Just because comments are open does not mean that people have to choose to post insensitive things?
That would be akin to saying that its OK to steal something because it was not locked up or its OK to assault someone if there are no witnesses? is it not?

Comments being open are an opportunity to pay respect,
My deepest condolences to the families and those affected by this tragedy.

#14. Posted by my oh my on July 10, 2017

# 13
Everything you say is true.  By the way I never said that the Nunatsiaq News was the ones that needed to apologize. 
And yes…open comments does not mean open season for insensitive comments…but the fact is that if you leave the floor open all it takes is one of those unsympathetic posters to start…I’m just very relieved to see that no one put blame on anyone or posted any real negativity.
My thoughts were more along the line of…what if there are family that didn’t know?  Should they really find out this way??  Reading it in the paper?  That’s almost as bad as finding out on facebook.
Once I hear that someone I know has passed away in a tragic accident or not, I wait for the sting to lift a bit and then I go TO the family to offer my condolences.  We all lack a bit of interpersonal skills thanks to social media…I am just as guilty.

#15. Posted by Really?? on July 11, 2017


Sorry I did not mean to single out your comments and you are correct that you didn’t say that NN should apologize (I inferred that).

I felt you and others were coming down a bit hard on NN for something that was at root caused by another persons insensitivity.

...And although I guess it would be great if people could all behave and make something positive out of an opportunity to post such a this, I guess I am guilty of being naive enough to believe everyone could be civil on an open forum such this. 

I guess what I was getting at is that its unfortunate that something like these comments sections (that could be a positive space for dialogue and discussion) most often is not used as such, and indeed as we have seen is used to attack persons or “stir the pot”.

I am glad that we could have a civil dialogue

#16. Posted by Friend on July 11, 2017

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and may Perpetual Light shine upon them; May they rest in Peace, Amen. Grant solace and comfort to their loved ones, to those who mourn them and miss them. May they live on in our hearts and our memories till we meet again. Amen

#17. Posted by close!! on July 11, 2017

The comments are only posted once they are screened by by nunatsiaq.
They will take out pieces of comments if they don’t like them. The comments should be closed altogether for sensitive stories like these ones. What if this was a story about a young offender, whose name can’t be published? Would allow people to post comments with the name of the young offender? No. They clearly have been very careful not to name names in the article. Close the comments for stories like this.

#18. Posted by Close! on July 11, 2017

PS the comment that nunatsiaq chose to allow to be published names the owner of the boat, not victims. Close the comments please.

#19. Posted by God bless on July 11, 2017

Providing the names of love ones who have passed on is not insensitive unless next of kins are not notified as yet. My guess there may be family and friends outside of Iqaluit who will like to know for all the right reasons. Some people will also make alternative personal arrangements to travel if they are informed by the news.

Everyone in Iqaluit knows.

#20. Posted by My condolenses on July 12, 2017

CBC has listed the names so people outside of Iqaluit can make plans. The next of kins are grieving so they have no time to be on the telephone. As per # 19, there is nothing insensitive about providing names once next of kins have been notified. This is a news story and most importantly it is a public service for love ones across the country. God bless.

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