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Paramedics suffer burns in training explosion that injures three others

Five emergency responders injured Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in a training accident in Kanata are expected to make a full recovery.

Two police officers and one paramedic suffered minor injuries and two paramedics were listed in serious but stable condition in intensive care at the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. They suffered burns from a blast and flames.

Paramedics Chief Anthony DiMonte said their families have been contacted and were with the injured.

He said the two paramedics in serious condition suffered first and second degree burns to their faces, hands and to the backs of their legs but they did not suffer any traumatic injuries. A test also confirmed they had not suffered severe damage to their airways.

Speaking on CTV Ottawa News at 6, DiMonte identified the two paramedics seriously hurt as Craig MacInnes, a 22-year veteran of the service, and Reid Purdy, an 8-year member. The third, who suffered minor injuries, is Brad Ross, a 5-year member.

The two police officers were treated and released before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Meantime, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has taken over the scene, as they do any time civilians are injured in a police operation. Paramedics are considered civilians even though they sometimes serve as members of Ottawa Police tactical units.

The SIU is working alongside the Ministry of Labour which was also called in.

Officers were still on scene late Wednesday afternoon at March Road and Maxwell Bridge where they had spent the morning running tactical exercises with explosives in an abandoned home. Paramedics, RCMP and Ottawa Police were all taking part in the joint exercise.

Chief Charles Bordeleau said they often use abandoned buildings for training and run these kinds of exercises constantly.

He said the explosive devices are commonly used both in training and in police work but wouldn't comment further on what device was used and how, citing the SIU investigation.

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