Police say Quebec’s father ‘blew himself up’ and took his two children

A Quebec father deliberately set off an explosion at his home north of Quebec City to kill himself and his two young sons, provincial police said Wednesday.

Investigators are treating Monday morning’s explosion as a double homicide and a suicide, Sgt. Hugues Beaulieu said in an interview.

“The investigation shows that it was a criminal offence; the man blew himself up and took his two children with him,” Beaulieu said.

The coroner’s office confirmed the identity of the father, Derick Lalancette, 39.

Lalancette worked in the mining industry and police say they have experience handling explosives. Authorities are still trying to determine which explosives were used, but the condition of the house has made the investigation more complex, police said.

Representatives of the Niobec mine, a niobium mine in the Saguenay, Que. region, confirmed in a statement Tuesday that one of their employees was killed in the explosion, and they said the company was cooperating with authorities.

Police said earlier this week that at least two people were killed in the explosion in the basement of a house in Saguenay, about 150 miles north of Quebec City. But they hadn’t ruled out the presence of another victim.

The next day, police identified the victims as a 39-year-old man and his two sons. A child under three was found at the same time as the father and the body of a baby under one was discovered in the house late Tuesday.

“Many things were discovered during the investigation that show that the suspect wanted to end his life,” said Beaulieu, who did not want to go into details.

The coroner’s investigation into the dead has been suspended while provincial police conduct their criminal investigation.

The mayor of Saguenay, Julie Dufour, expressed her condolences and urged anyone in need of help not to hesitate to ask for help.

“As a mother and mayor, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the mother, loved ones and all those affected by these events of unspeakable horror,” she wrote on Facebook. “Remember that every gesture counts. Listen. Be nice. Life is precious.”

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