Twelve people were rushed to hospital in Quebec City Wednesday afternoon after a car slammed into a building, sparking a fire.
The incident happened at the corner of Langelier Blvd. and Charest Blvd. West at about 12:45 p.m., when two cars crashed into each other, with one subsequently ramming into the building.
A witness at the scene told reporters he helped pull a woman out of the building. He said it was her first day working in the building.
“I was wondering if I should take this girl out (of the building) or not, because we should immobilize this person, but the car was almost on fire, so I decided to just take her outside the building,” said Jean Morissette, who said he pulled her out moments before the car exploded.
"After the impact, inflammable liquid came out of the vehicle and started a fire. So the fire department quickly extinguished that fire with foam, extinguishing foam, and after that we had to investigate the building to see that the fire didn't spread somewhere else," said Bill Noonan of the Quebec City fire department.
Morissette, whose shirt was stained with blood from the incident, said he personally saw at least three people injured.
Firefighters say 15 people were treated at the scene and 12 were taken to hospital for broken bones and bruises. Of them, three people had serious injuries, but none of the injuries is life-threatening.
The car slammed into the cafeteria of the building -- Morissette said his team often eats lunch in that cafeteria, but didn’t on this day.
“I just think that we would have gotten hit if it was another day, but on this day we were in another place,” he said, adding that he didn't feel in shock, despite the intensity of the situation. "Maybe the shock will be later - you know, post-traumatic. But for now it's just adrenaline and I'm just happy that all my team has no injuries."
Police say it's too early to pinpoint the exact cause of the crash.
"The investigation will determine exactly what happened," said Cyndi Pare of the Quebec City police.