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Nanaimo realtor killed in explosion at Mexican resort

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MX. (NEWS1130) – Five Canadians are among the dead after an explosion at a big beach resort in Mexico.  We’re now learning more about one of the victims, a father and new husband from Nanaimo.

Thirty-three year old realtor Malcolm Johnson had just married at the Grand Riviera Hotel in Playa Del Carmen.  He died in the huge blast that ripped through hotel Sunday morning.

Ron Williams worked with Johnson at Coast Realty Group in Nanaimo for six years.  He says he will be remembered as a fantastic family man.  “A really great guy who as soon as you meet him, everybody likes him. A very positive attitude, very confident and comfortable and a real humble guy. He is going to leave a huge mark in our office, and with all the people who know him.”

Johnson’s new wife and one-year-old daughter were not hurt.

Carson Author, who is from Toronto, also survived the explosion.  He says the air was literally sucked out of the rooms, knocking people to the floor.  “I don’t know if it has really set in for me.  There have been a lot of people who just can’t stop shaking.”

The blast may have been caused by gas from a nearby swamp that built up under the hotel.