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Vol. 76/No. 45      December 10, 2012

3 die, 18 injured in Quebec plant
explosion: ‘There was no safety’
SHERBROOKE, Quebec—Three workers were killed by an explosion of acetone at Neptune Technologies here Nov. 8. Eighteen were injured, some very seriously burned.

The plant, about 100 miles east of Montreal, produces krill oil, which is rich in omega-3 and used for health products.

The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a major part of the factory. The dead are Hernan Guerrero, a lead hand for four years; and Abel Regalado and Marc Couture, operator’s helpers for one month and six months respectively. According to his wife, Mélanie Audet, Couture acted to guide several people to a safe exit.

Pierre Paquin, director of the environmental ministry in Sherbrooke, confirmed Nov. 25 that agency investigators found the plant had acetone reservoirs on site beyond those authorized since 2002, reported La Tribune de Sherbrooke.

“Often we hear talk about laws to protect the environment, but there is a lack of government resources to carry out inspections,” Valérie Carrier, a student at the University of Sherbrooke, told the Militant.

“They went beyond the norms,” said Harry Chavannes, a nursing aide. “There was no safety.”
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