Four people from Fort St. John were among numerous Canadians staying at the Grand Riviera Princess Hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, when a massive explosion occurred, Sunday.
At least five Canadians and two Mexicans were killed in the blast, but no one from Fort St. John was injured.
Marlene Wilson and her husband Jack were on vacation at the hotel with their friends Steve and Tracy Moore.
Wilson says she was sitting on the balcony of her hotel room when the floor in a nearby lobby blew out.
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Wilson says she works as a first aid attendant at North Peace Secondary School and was able to help out after the explosion when most of the hotel staff didn’t know any first aid. She says the lobby was made mostly of glass so the blast caused the glass to shatter everywhere.
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The handling of the disaster is now being brought up since, Wilson says, the situation was made far worse by the fact that the hotel had no apparent emergency plan in place.
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Wilson says they were already near the end of their vacation and are happy to be leaving soon. They are expected to fly into Edmonton Tuesday before returning to Fort St. John.
The cause of the blast is still being investigated, but officials say they believe a gas buildup from a nearby swamp occurred under the hotel and somehow ignited.
– With files from the Canadian Press