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Five hospitalised after explosion at Rio Tinto facility in Canada

31 March 2017

A blast at the Rio Tinto iron and titanium plant in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, resulted in five workers being treated for shock at a local hospital, Rio Tinto said in a statement. The cause of the explosion, which caused heavy damage to part of the metallurgical complex northeast of Montreal, is under investigation. Initial reports say the blast involved carbon monoxide gas used in the production process.

The Sorel-Tracy plant - Image: Rio Tinto
The Sorel-Tracy plant - Image: Rio Tinto

One section of the facility resumed production the afternoon after the blast on March 30 with four others coming on stream that evening.

In total, about 1,400 people work at the complex and a company spokeswoman said there were 192 people at work at the time of the incident. The Quebec operation manufactures raw materials for the titanium dioxide markets and produces high purity metal powders and pig iron.

In 2016 the company announced it would spend C$16 million to retrofit one of the furnaces at the metallurgical complex.

Rio Tinto is one of the world's leading metals and mining firms with about 50,000 workers in some 35 countries.


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