‘These explosions can be deadly’: EPS issues warning over neighbourhood drug labs

Police are asking Edmontonians to report suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods after several residential explosions involving cannabis extraction labs.

Extraction labs involve the extraction of THC from cannabis to illegally produce cannabis oil or shatter, which is a more concentrated form of THC.

One of the incidents happened on Saturday night in the area of 98 Avenue and 79 Street. Emergency crews were called to a home shortly before 10 p.m. When they arrived, there was no fire at the residence, but officials say there was evidence that a fire had been put out some time before they were called.

One person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“These explosions can be deadly, not only for the individuals living in the residence being used as a cannabis extraction lab, but also for those neighbours living nearby,” says EPS Sgt. Guy Pilon, of the Clan Lab Response team.

“Criminals are using highly explosive materials including butane and propane. “The vapor from just one regular sized can of butane has the capacity to destroy a 1,450 square foot home. These individuals are putting law-abiding citizens at risk.”

“We want citizens to be mindful and others such as food delivery drivers and the landlords of rental properties to ensure they are acting responsibly and checking on their properties regularly to ensure they aren’t be used by criminals who only care about making money, not about the neighbours’ safety.”

Anyone who sees suspicious behaviour like empty butane canisters out for garbage pickup, or equipment such as stainless steel extraction tubes, pressurized containers connected together with wiring, or new venting cut into the side of a home is encouraged to call Edmonton police at 780-423-4567.