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Three people killed in propane factory explosion

17 January 2023

Three workers at a propane distribution company were killed on January 12 after an explosion erupted at a factory in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Canada. The incident happened at a facility owned by Propane Lafortune a few miles north of Montreal.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The three workers were reported to be missing following the blast, however local police confirmed the bodies of the victims had been found on January 16. Police and forensic investigators had been searching the site for several days to find the remains of two employees and a subcontractor.

Firefighters were called to the scene on January 12 at 11:17 local time after reports of an explosion at the Propane Lafortune facility, however the risk of further explosions meant that they were initially unable to tackle a large fire that had erupted. Around 50 firefighters attended the scene to help evacuate nearby buildings and later extinguish the blaze.

The state of the site following the blast and fire, as well as poor weather conditions, hampered search efforts in the days following the incident.

An investigation into the incident has been opened with officials saying they were looking into the possibility of a truck inside the facility’s garage exploding.

A statement on the Propane Lafortune website said the company was deeply upset by the event and it is monitoring the situation closely. This is the first time in 60 years that the company has experienced such an ordeal and its hearts go out to the employees, their families and anyone who may be affected by this difficult situation, the statement said.

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