Global Processing

Explosion at Quebec chemical plant injures one

June 30, 2014
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An explosion at a chemical plant in Becancour, Quebec, caused injuries to one person but is not expected to result in any environmental damage, according to media reports.

The incident occurred on June 25 at about 11:30am, when a tank containing chlorine exploded at the Olin Chlor Alkali Products plant in Becancour, near Trois-Rivieres, said Melanie Dumaresq, spokeswoman for Surete du Quebec, quoted by CTV News. Emergency response units were called to the site, where they had to deal with a cloud of yellow smoke.

The injured person is a deliveryman who was taken to hospital to be treated for gas inhalation but his injuries are not serious and he is expected to make a full recovery and be released from hospital soon, police said.

The chemical plant is located on an industrial park, so nearby office buildings and plants were evacuated after the explosion. However, employees at Olin Chlor Alkali had to stay inside the building. According to witnesses, a pungent smell occurred right after the explosion was heard and could still be smelt in the afternoon. Officials from local environmental protection agencies tested air quality in the area to ensure that it was safe to allow people back to their workplaces.

The Olin Chlor Alcali plant produces a number of chemicals, including chlorine, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, according to the company's website.