|Aerial view of an explosion at Bar Turco in Trois-Rivieres, Que., March 1, 2013.
TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. — Several people escaped with minor injuries after an explosion destroyed a motel and adjoining bar in this city on Friday.
Police initially feared that patrons could have been stuck inside the building, the roof of which had collapsed.
However, while several people were in the motel during the explosion, the bar — where the blast occurred — was empty.
A witness said he saw the motel-bar lift in the air due to the explosion's impact.
"Debris was falling from the sky, there were bricks, pieces of windows," the witness said.
Ghyslain Hinse, with the fire department, told QMI that a couple of people suffered minor injuries.
Police said they raided the motel in 2012 while investigating a drug-trafficking ring and made arrests related to pimping. Police were unable to say Friday if the explosion and the raids are connected.
Trois-Rivieres is located on the St. Lawrence River, between Montreal and Quebec City.