The 11-kilogram chunk of granite that crashed through the Carpenter’s ceiling left a hole the size of a soccer ball.
The rock landed less than a metre from where Russ Carpenter was sitting watching TV.
“We’re lucky no one got killed,” he said on Wednesday, the day after Lobird subdivision was showered by rock and debris following a blast from a nearby road construction project.
“It would have gone right through you.”
Carpenter’s wife and daughter were in the living room as well.
They were watching Hell’s Kitchen, a cooking show.
It turned into hell’s living room pretty quick, said Russ Carpenter.
“It was like a grenade going off.”
The rock easily blew through the roof of the Carpenter’s trailer, smashing into the stone hearth of the fireplace.
Then the projectile bounced and shattered a nearby desk chair, sending it flying into Carpenter’s wife Candace.
The whole thing happened so quickly that Candace didn’t even know she had been hit.
Later that evening, she went to the hospital to get treated for shock.
The room was filled with dust and insulation. A few shingles were scattered on the floor.
All three of the Carpenters were stunned and silently stared at the strange shaft of light shining in from the ceiling.
Seconds earlier, the family had heard the now routine blast from the road construction below.
Just before the rock came crashing through their ceiling, Carpenter heard something hit their chain-link fence.
This turned out to be another chunk of rock, only slightly smaller then the one in their living room.
Carpenter suspects that if it had not hit the fence, the rock would have slammed into his home’s propane tank.
This is just one in a series of close calls that took place around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday following the bungled blasting on the Hamilton Boulevard extension.
Remarkably, no one was hurt.
Two kids down the road were jumping on their trampoline when they saw the rocks fly overhead.
They thought it was a flock of birds.
A large granite stone, nearly twice the size of the one that destroyed the Carpenters’ living room, was found behind a vehicle a few doors down.
Blasted rock damaged at least five homes on Tuesday.
A smaller piece of stone punctured a hole in the roof of Morris Lamrock’s home.
“I can’t even wrap my head around it,” said Lamrock.
“The possibility of someone getting hurt was just phenomenal.”
When Lamrock contacted the RCMP he was told that it wasn’t a criminal matter and they refused to send anyone.
“If someone had gotten hurt then I imagine they would have sent somebody up, but is that what makes it a criminal offence?” he said.
“I don’t see the difference there.”
After one of the residents went down to tell the engineering firm to stop the blasting, a couple of guys in hard hats and safety vests came up and wandered around trying to assess the damage.
“Are you the guys responsible for this?” Lamrock asked the men.
“They kind of stepped back and said, ‘Well in essence, yeah.’”
The residents asked if the company was using a protective covering during the blasting, said Lamrock.
“They said, ‘Well, we did when we were close to the road, but we thought we didn’t need it over here.’”
“That’s a hard one to swallow,” said Lamrock.
“Yeah, we make mistakes and, yet, with explosives?
“Those are big mistakes.”
The hardest part was knowing that his three-year-old daughter could have easily been killed in the rain of rock and debris, he said.
“I’ve shed a few tears over it already,” he said.
“If she was out on the swing last night, would she be here today?”
“Between being really friggin’ angry and really scared at the same time… it’s a good opportunity to express emotions, that’s for sure.”
This is not the first time that the residents of the Lobird subdivision have experienced problems because of the Hamilton Boulevard extension.
After the contractor, P.S. Sidhu Trucking Ltd, clearcut the road’s path they began to burn the trees in massive piles.
The burning enveloped the trailer park in a thick cloud of smog and was shut down only after the residents complained.
And the force of previous blasts has made the small houses shake — in at least one case causing damage to floor tiles.
“The other issue is that if this was Copper Ridge or these houses were half-a-million-dollar houses, would the level of safety have been higher?” said Lamrock.
“We’re just a trailer park so…”
“I just want somebody to take responsibility for it,” he added.
“I would like someone, either from YTG or the company to come up and express concern and empathy.”
Government officials contacted the residents later on Wednesday.
Sidhu Trucking couldn’t tell the territorial government why there was so much debris during this particular blast, said Community Services acting assistant deputy minister Pat Malloy.
“So we’re bringing in an independent expert to try to determine what went wrong.”
The contractor is responsible for repairs and has a carpentry crew on site working on the roof repairs right now, said Malloy on Thursday.
It would be up to the Yukon Occupational Health and Safety Board to press any charges, if they thought that charges were warranted.
The board issued a stop-work order and has begun an investigation, said spokesperson Mark Hill.
“In fact, the director of (occupational health and safety) went up there himself and issued this stop-work order related to blasting by the company involved in the incident and suspended their blasting permit until the investigation is complete.”
A second company working on the road extension project in a different area is being allowed to continue preparatory work, but will also be prevented from blasting.
There are several possible repercussions if the investigation were to find that safety procedures were not being followed.
Generally, penalties range from a written order to correct things right up to fines and even prosecution.
But prosecution under the occupational health and safety act doesn’t happen very often, said Hill.
Hill couldn’t give a timeframe as to when the investigation will be complete.
“I can tell you that investigations into serious incidents are done very, very carefully.”
Repeated calls to Sidhu were not answered.