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  • Will Irvine

Explosion on Boulcott Street Leaves Residents Shocked


CW: Suicide, Violence

On Friday the 8th of March, at approximately 1:00PM, an explosion ripped through a Kainga Ora apartment on Boulcott Street, drawing crowds from nearby halls and apartments. Police and firefighters were on scene within minutes, and eyewitnesses reported multiple people being removed under the cover of fire-retardant blankets. 

Adjacent resident Riley Hoet told Salient that she “saw a tall, lean guy being escorted out with a fire blanket over him”. Hoet spoke to a variety of residents in the ensuing crowd, and heard multiple differing accounts of what might have happened. 

Salient spoke to those affected, including a man who claimed to be a neighbour and friend of the victim. The man, who wished to remain unnamed, said that he felt the explosion was likely to be an attempt at suicide, mentioning “LPG fumes” that made the apartment complex dangerous to enter. 

While no official reason has been cited by Police or any media outlet, most of the residents Salient encountered felt the explosion was likely to be a methamphetamine lab accident. The resident we spoke to refuted this, however, claiming that both he and his friend were drug-free for a number of years. Eyewitnesses reported no long-burning flames, which is typically an identifying characteristic of lab explosions. However, Salient was unable to identify any consequential evidence for either explanation, and it will likely remain unknown. 

Last week’s explosion came amid rising tensions in the beleaguered Kainga Ora building, which, according to Boulcott Street residents, underwent a police raid the night before the incident. Salient has been unable to corroborate this report. 


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