News release from the Fulton County ESDA:

From: Fulton County Public Information Office

Situation Update

November 16, 2016 7:30 pm

There was a gas explosion along 1st Avenue. Several buildings in the area have been damaged. It is being requested that people stay away from the downtown area to allow first responders to continue to search and secure the area. No report on injuries at this time.

There has been a media location set up at 100 W. Elm St, Canton. The area around the square has been blocked so to arrive at this location use Avenue A or Avenue B from Locust Street (Route 9).

UPDATE: November 16, 2016  9:00 PM

The gas explosion took place in the 10 block of North 1st Avenue, Canton. Several surrounding buildings were affected by the blast. Search crews have completed a primary search and are in process of conduction secondary searches to the affected areas. At this time, there is 1 confirmed fatality and 11 additional persons injured. Those individuals were transported to local hospitals.

The streets within a 2 block radius around the location including the city square are shut down and entry is prohibited expect by authorized personnel. Displaced persons may report to the Salvation Army located at 176 S. 1st Avenue, Canton.

Ameren is currently working on restoring power to residences that were shut off during the initial response.

Further information will be provided and an updated press release will be provided in the morning.

Agencies currently on scene assisting are Canton Police Department, Fulton County Sherriff, Peoria County Sherriff, City of Canton, Lewistown Police Department, Farmington Police Department, Glasford Police Department, Fulton County Paramedics, Fulton County ESDA, Cuba ESDA, Illinois State Police, Mason County District Hospital, Buckheart Fire Department, Ameren CIPS, Cuba Fire Department, Farmington Fire Department, and Canton Fire Department.


UPDATE:   We learning more about the number of people hurt during the explosion in Canton.  Our crew at Graham Hospital reports that medical staff treated 11 patients.

One of those people was flown to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  Three other people were admitted to the hospital but at this time there is no word on their condition. 

Seven other people were treated and released.


UPDATE:  During a news conference Wednesday night Ameren Illinois officials announced that the person who died in the Canton gas explosion was an Ameren Illinois employee.

They did not release the person’s name.

During the news conference the Ameren officials appeared to be visually shaken up.

They went on to say they have notified state officials about the incident.

Canton officials went on to thank the community for the outpouring of support.


One man is dead and another has been flown to OSF St. Francis Medial Center following an explosion in Canton.

The man is in fair condition.

At least six people were injured in the explosion.


WMBD is on scene of an explosion in Canton tonight. Here’s what we know so far:

8:00 p.m. — The Fulton County Coroner confirms one person is dead after tonight’s explosion.


UPDATE:  Here is the latest from Canton police:

No one is being allowed within a three block radius of downtown Canton. No property or vehicles within this area will be accessible for quite some time.

*All roads in the three block radius are blocked. IL 9/IL 78 will remain open, but we ask that you avoid the area.

*Natural gas is shut off in Canton. We do not know yet when gas will be restored.

We will post updates as they become available.

Also, The Fulton County Emergency management agency reports that the explosion happened at around 5:45p.m. Wednesday evening.  Reports from the scene say the explosion caused a lot of damage.  There are a number of windows blown out and debris all throughout the streets near the square.


UPDATE:  Canton police are asking everyone to avoid the downtown area.  According to a report on the department’s Facebook page, many roads are closed.   They want people to stay away because the roads are very congested and it’s preventing emergency crews and other services from getting to the site.

Right now, our crew headed to the scene reports that the area hospital has reported getting some injured people but at this time there are no reports of any deaths.

Canton police also say they have not gotten any reports of deaths but there have been reports of injuries.

Police also tell us the building at the center of the explosion has been damaged but has not been demolished.

Stay with WMBD/WYZZ and for updates on this developing story.


WMBD is getting reports of an explosion in Canton, near the square.

Witnesses tell us that there is a building that has been reduced to rubble. The windows of several other businesses have been blown out. Right now, there are no reports of injuries.


The videos were sent by Shirley Franzoni, taken from inside Black Crow Candle Company.

Stay with WMBD for updates on the situation.