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Updated: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 13:13:18 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

5 injured in Ottawa training exercise explosion



Three paramedics and two police officers were injured during a forced-entry training exercise at a March Road home. CBC

Three paramedics and two police officers were injured during a forced-entry training exercise at a March Road home. CBC

Two police officers and three paramedics were injured in an explosion during a training exercise in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, police chief Charles Bordeleau confirmed.

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The explosion occurred just after 10 a.m. ET during a joint force-entry exercise into an abandoned residence, Bordeleau said. The training exercise involved Ottawa police officers, paramedics and RCMP officers, Bordeleau said.

Sources told CBC News that the first responders suffered "serious burns." Bordeleau described some of the injuries as "airway issues."

"Explosives are used in training exercises and real-life operations to assist officers to forcibly enter into residences or businesses to assist them into getting access into those buildings," he said.

"What type of explosives, how it was detonated — I can't comment on that because that will be part of the Special Investigations Unit investigation."

The SIU investigates incidents in which police officers are involved in serious injuries or death. Bordeleau said the SIU invoked its mandate because paramedics are considered civilians. 

Two paramedics were seriously injured but are expected to survive, he said. Two Ottawa police officers and another paramedic were also treated for more minor injuries, he said.

"Paramedics are part of the training exercise because they work hand-in-hand with the Ottawa police service to ensure the safety and security of all during these types of operations," Bordeleau said.

Witnesses near the training facility on March Road in Kanata told CBC News they heard a "big bang" that sounded like an explosion.

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