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Canadian chemical plant explosion kills one, seriously injures another

13 September 2021

An explosion at a chemical plant in Toronto, Canada killed one person and seriously injured another on September 8. Emergency services were called to the Siltech chemical plant at around 10:00 local time and pronounced one person dead at the scene while another was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Acting Toronto Fire Chief Jim Jessop told reporters that several other people were treated and assessed at the scene having suffered chemical burns. Jessop added that hazardous materials crews were working with Siltech to ensure the site was made safe. The cause of the blast is unknown, Jessop said, adding that the significant chemical fire took a while to extinguish. Some news reports have said the blast happened after a chemical spill ignited, however these reports have not been confirmed.

Canada’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development was notified of the explosion and has assigned an inspector to open an investigation into the incident alongside the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall. Several roads in the area of the plant remained closed for several hours after the incident with air monitoring being conducted to ensure there was no spread of toxic fumes.
According to its website, Siltech develops, manufactures, and markets a line of organo-functional silicone compounds and related specialties. It has two plants in Canada, and both are equipped with large-scale, high-temperature and pressure reactors, thin film evaporators and other equipment required in such unit processes as equilibration, hydrosylilation, quaternization, amidation, phosphation, and esterification.

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