(PQB News photo compilation)

(PQB News photo compilation)

Top 10: A look back at the most-read PQB News stories from 2021

Another unique and challenging year is in the books

Another interesting and challenging year has drawn to a close. Our staff members at the PQB News wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2022 and thank our readers for your patronage and feedback during the past year.

Today, we’ll take a look back at the 10 most-viewed stories and videos from 2021 based on our website analytics. Our site at www.pqbnews.com had nearly 4.4 million page views last year, and for that, we thank all of our readers once again.

1. Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station (June 17)

A gas station in Whiskey Creek was ablaze after a camper van burst into flames. Heavy black smoke could be seen for kilometres and people nearby heard an explosion. Flames quickly spread to the overhang above the fuel pumps and then to the attached convenience store at the Whiskey Creek Mid-Island Co-Op. Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries were reported.

2. Snowbirds flying away from Parksville Qualicum Beach area (April 26)

On the advice of the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnsworth, issued a new order prohibiting non-essential travel between the three regional health zones in B.C., as an attempt to further curb the transmission of COVID-19.

3. Quick-thinking Qualicum Beach boy safely talks his way out of vehicle stolen with him inside (Feb. 18)

A quick-thinking eight-year-old boy helped avert a potential nightmare scenario on Thursday in Qualicum Beach.

The boy’s father had stopped in his truck at the town Shell station. He and the youngster’s older brother quickly ran into the store, with the younger boy choosing to stay behind. Within seconds, a random woman jumped into the vehicle and began driving away with the boy still inside. The boy convinced the woman to let him out and she was later taken to hospital for an assessment.

4. RCMP investigating 2 sudden deaths in Parksville (June 29)

Oceanside RCMP were investigating a pair of sudden deaths in Parksville.

Sgt. Stephen Rose said Tuesday afternoon (June 29) that forensic investigators were on-scene in the 700 block of Soriel Road. Upon attendance, police discovered two deceased persons, both residents of the home.

5. Sinkhole closes Island Highway in both directions north of Nanaimo (Nov. 18)

A sinkhole opened up on the Island Highway in Lantzville, closing the highway in both directions. Motorists faced lengthy delays until it was repaired.

6. Quality Foods opens new flagship store in Parksville (March 24)

Quality Foods officially opened its new flagship store in Parksville. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held March 24 with Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne, Quality Foods president Noel Hayward and store manager Darcy Ginter doing the honours.

7. Qualicum Beach’s Eaglecrest Golf Club plans to reduce course layout from 18 to 9 holes (Jan. 23)

Some members of the Eaglecrest Golf Club wanted a mulligan. Club members received notice that the ownership group, Semiahmoo Golf Centre Ltd, planned to reduce the course from 18 holes to nine, starting April 1.

8. Residents evacuated from Qualicum Beach, Parksville as flood waters rise (Nov. 15)

Heavy flooding around the province also hit the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. On Nov. 15, the Regional District of Nanaimo issued evacuation orders for several properties near the Englishman River and the Nanaimo River.

9. Parksville man, 72, dies in home while family waits on hold with 911 dispatch (Sept. 16)

Sad news as a 72-year-old Parksville man died in his home while his family waited on hold for a half-hour after calling 911.

A communications rep for B.C. Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), offered condolences to the family and loved ones of Blakey. She wrote: “We will be conducting a review, and will be working with the Patient Care Quality Office to ensure his family’s concerns and questions are addressed.”

10. Raging blaze destroys home in Errington, 5 people get out safely (March 12)

Five people and their pets managed to escape a raging fire that destroyed a home in Errington late March 11. The Errington Fire Department battled for hours to contain the blaze on Price Road.

PQB News/VI Free Daily editor Philip Wolf can be reached via email at philip.wolf@blackpress.ca.

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