Dramatic surveillance video shows the moment a massive explosion lit up the night sky in east London after a vehicle struck a home and severed a natural gas line.The 27-second clip, posted on Facebook by Old East Village resident Kandice Trickett, shows two women lounging in a backyard hot tub when a giant fire ball appears above the tree line nearby.“Oh my god, call 911 please. Call 911,” one of the women shouts to a long-haired man, who’s drying off beside the hot tub.The man yells at the two women to get out of the water immediately.“Get out of the tub . . . Get out of the F***ing tub,” he says.Both women rush out of the water and look for a phone to call police.Trickett, who lives on Dorinda Street beside the couple whose backyard was shown in the video, says she ran outside in her underwear after hearing an explosion that shook her house.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“The cloud from the explosion was rolling towards us,” Trickett said Friday.“You can see why Mike in the video was freaking out, trying to get them out of the tub.”A car travelling in the wrong direction on Queens Avenue, a one-way street, struck a house on Woodman Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.The crash severed a natural gas line. Firefighters were working to evacuate the area when the explosion happened shortly before 11 p.m., injuring four firefighters, two police officers and one citizen.One firefighter remained in hospital listed in serious but stable condition Friday.Daniella Alexandra Leis, 23, of Kitchener faces multiple charges including four counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.The blast destroyed two homes and at least eight others were damaged, officials say.One-hundred nearby homes were evacuated, but the residents at all but 10 – eight on Woodman, two on Charlotte Street – of those homes were allowed to return Thursday firstname.lastname@example.orgEDITOR’S NOTE: Some internet browsers do not support the video format so it may not appear for all desktop readers.
Just back from a visit to the region, Erik de Mul, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Angola, reported that of all the areas that had become accessible to humanitarian partners since hostilities ended in April, the situation in Mavinga, in Kuando Kubango province, was the most critical. “Access is very difficult, he said “and the sheer number of people in need in Mavinga and surrounding areas is overwhelming.”Although there are currently three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and one UN agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), currently working in the area, the humanitarian situation in the town remained critical, as roads and bridges were in desperate need of repair and the single airstrip was wearing down from flights bringing food assistance.Mr. de Mul stressed that the overall situation in Mavinga has proved difficult to stabilize. “The priorities right now are to increase the amount of potable water available in the town and to pre-position food before the rainy season begins and makes everything worse,” he said. The UN’s other priorities include distribution of blankets and other non-food items, as well as de-mining. According to Mr. de Mul, international donors have been generous in their response to the 2002 Inter-Agency Appeal for Angola, but more funds were urgently required in order to stabilize the grim humanitarian situation in areas such as Mavinga, as well as in Bunjei and Alto Chicapa. Humanitarian partners were currently preparing the 2003 consolidated appeal, which will focus on life saving and resettlement and return activities.In other news, Ibrahim Gambari, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Angola, met with President José Eduardo dos Santos this morning. Mr. Gambari told reporters afterwards that an expert panel has already started working on the first formal meeting next week of the Joint Commission, which is tasked with completing the outstanding issues of the Lusaka Protocol.