PORT ALICE, B.C- A Vancouver Island man is in hospital after a package exploded in Port Alice today.
According to Shirley Bowick, the wife of Roger Nepper, the package was picked up from the post office in the remote North Island village today, addressed to the couple. She indicated that it had arrived from a relative in the Yukon.
Bowick said the package was around five inches long, six inches wide, and two inches in depth. Her husband had brought it back to the house, towards the end of Clark Drive in Port Alice, and went to open it up in the bathroom while Bowick was nearby.
That’s when the package exploded, for the first time.
“My husband’s fingertips are blown off,” said Bowick.
“He’s in Nanaimo now, having surgery. I couldn’t hear for a long time. My hearing still is not there, but it’s coming back slowly. I’m really shaken up by it, obviously, because my neighbours could have been hurt, postal services could have been hurt, all the way down from Whitehorse to here, someone could have been hurt. And that is very horrible, that other people could have been hurt.”
Bowick said she had received a few burns from the first explosion, while her husband got the brunt. She called 911, while clearing out the smoke from the bathroom.
“My husband is down just screaming,” said Bowick.
“I’m phoning 911. All of a sudden, there is another bunch of smoke coming out of the bathroom, all down into our house. That’s how I know it went off twice.”
After RCMP officers from Port Hardy arrived, the home and a nearby road was cordoned off. Bowick indicated that the two houses next to her home were evacuated as well.
She also said that investigators are now headed to the village from Vancouver.
As of this report, there have been no official notices from the authourities about what happened.
However, the post office, Scotiabank and Clark Drive were been shut down in Port Alice due to an undisclosed emergency situation. A post detailing what was going on was made at around 4:00 p.m. on the Port Alice Emergency Facebook page.
Bowick is now staying with a friend, after speaking with police and leaving her cloths behind at the local RCMP detachment building. As for why the package was sent to them, Bowick believed it could have been due to a dispute over money.
Nepper will be undergoing major surgery for his injuries in Nanaimo, according to Bowick, though she did not have an update on how he was doing when she spoke with the MyTriportNow.com newsroom.
A request for comment has been sent to the RCMP.