UpdateWorker in critical state after Canada chemical explosion

09 November 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--One worker remained in critical condition at a Montreal hospital burn unit on Friday following a chemical explosion that killed two workers and injured 19, hospital officials said.

The critically injured worker suffered burns covering nearly 90% of his body in the explosion at a pharmaceuticals facility at Sherbrooke, east of Montreal, on Thursday afternoon, the officials said in a webcast media briefing.

Three other workers, who were also transferred via helicopter to the burn unit, suffered burns covering up to 20% of their bodies.

The three are in stable condition but have been put into an induced coma. They had breathed in toxic fumes, harming their respiratory systems, and require continued intensive care, the officials said.

The explosion at Neptune Technologies & Bioressources' plant involved an estimated 15,000 litres of acetone, which the company uses as a solvent in its production processes.

Sherbrooke city officials said the accident heavily damaged the plant, but Canadian television showed footage of a completely destroyed facility.

Neptune media officials were not immediately available for additional comment. However, in a press statement, the company confirmed the deaths of the two workers and expressed its sorrow.

According to information on its website, Neptune extracts omega-3 phospholipids and other ingredients from marine biomass for use in pharmaceuticals products and dietary supplements.

Stock exchange officials halted trading in Neptune’s shares on the Toronto Stock exchange on Thursday afternoon. Trading had not yet resumed on Friday morning.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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