WATCH: A man is in hospital and a village on northern Vancouver Island is in shock after an apparent mail bomb explosion. It happened in a Port Alice home after a man picked up a package from the nearby post office. Dean Stoltz has the latest.
It’s usually a quiet street but on Wednesday, Clark Drive in Port Alice was the scene of a police investigation after a package sent in the mail exploded when a man opened it in his home Tuesday afternoon.
Roger Nepper, a 40-year resident of Port Alice, had just picked up the package at the Canada Post office.
“There was this card in the mail and he picked up the package and low and behold, he comes home and I’m right beside him and he opened it up and it’s a bomb and it went off twice,” Shirley Bowick, Roger’s wife, said.
Bowick said the package was approximately 12 centimetres long by 15 cm wide and 5 cm thick. She said it went off once in his hands then again after he left the room. Nepper then ran to the neighbour for help.
“My husband had been home in the backyard. He was working in the backyard and he saw, he didn’t actually hear the explosion because he’s hard of hearing, but he saw the black smoke coming out of the back of the house and then he heard pounding on the door and he came up opened the door and he saw Roger,” neighbour Cathy Anderson said.
“When I first heard it was Roger Nepper, I was, I was just in shock because I’ve known him for at least 40 years.”
Nepper’s hand was missing part of his fingers after the explosion.
Another neighbour eventually rushed him to the village’s medical clinic where he was treated before being taken to Nanaimo where he underwent extensive surgery on Wednesday.
Back at his home, the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit came from Vancouver to make sure there weren’t more explosives. The home was cleared by 2 p.m. this afternoon. The post office was locked down but cleared yesterday and opened again today for business.
Deputy Mayor Bruce Lloyd said he is thankful the post office workers were not hurt as well.
Police aren’t saying if there are any suspects but the victim’s wife tells CHEK News the package was mailed from Yukon and may have been part of a family dispute.