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Ontario metals plant blast and fire injures two

22 October 2012

Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services, Ministry of Labour and Technical Standards and Safety Authority were looking into the cause of a fire and apparent explosion that injured two employees at Vale Canada’s Port Colborne refinery on October 18.

Vale communications officer Emily Robb said Niagara Regional Police and United Steelworkers would also be assisting in the investigation of the fire.

“Early indications are that the ignition involved sulphur, but definitive answers will need to come from the investigation. Obviously, fire in any form poses dangers and thankfully the emergency response worked well,” said Robb.

She said the two employees, who suffered burns and smoke inhalation respectively, were treated on the scene and were later released.

The Port Colborne refinery, opened in 1918, produces a platinum-group metals concentrate and cobalt metal. The operation also serves as a nickel packaging and distribution centre.






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