Toronto-area home explosion in June was double suicide: police

(Reuters) - An explosion that leveled a house, killed two people including a convicted murderer and injured up to nine in a Toronto suburb in June was a double suicide, local police said on Friday.

The explosion was the result of natural gas, and fire investigators determined two supply lines of the gas had been intentionally disconnected from a water heater in the house, Peel Regional police said in a statement.

Photos posted on Twitter of the location showed a large plume of smoke rising above houses in Mississauga, just west of Toronto, while the road and roofs of neighboring houses were strewn with debris.

Investigators have identified the dead as Robert Nadler and Diane Page, residents of the leveled house. They did not specify on Friday the reason for the alleged double suicide, but said they ruled out an accident, a double murder and a murder-suicide.

“The cause of death for both was determined to be blunt force trauma, consistent with having been near the epicenter of the explosion,” police said.

Police confirmed at a news conference on Friday that Nadler was a convicted murder. He killed his best friend in June 1979, according to the Toronto Star newspaper.

Several homes adjacent to the one leveled were left with only half of their structures still standing and numerous other homes in the neighborhood suffered serious damage, police said.

Reporting by Ethan Lou in Kingston, Ontario; Editing by Matthew Lewis