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Explosion at hazardous waste facility kills worker

17 January 2023

An explosion at a hazardous waste facility in Ontario, Canada killed one person on January 12. The incident happened at a site operated by Ssonix Products which produces gasoline, kerosene, distillate fuel oils, residual fuel oils, and lubricants.

Image: Niagara Regional Police
Image: Niagara Regional Police

Police and firefighters were called to the site in St. Catharines at around 06:30 local time where they found a large fire. Firefighters worked to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring industrial buildings before it was extinguished a few hours later.

One employee, a man in his 30s, was injured in the incident and rushed to hospital in Toronto where he received treatment for critical burn injuries. However, officials confirmed on January 13 that he had died. The employee was the only person at the facility when the incident occurred.

A number of local roads were closed during the fire and nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. Residents were able to return to their homes and a shelter-in-place order was lifted in the afternoon of January 13.

During efforts to extinguish the fire, there was some concern about chemicals leaking away from the site, however the local fire department said that the operator of the site had informed firefighters what chemicals had been stored at the site, allowing them to take precautions and prevent hazardous chemicals from leaking beyond the site itself.

Officials said that an investigation would begin immediately to determine the cause.

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