Two dead in Canada fireworks factory blast

BENJAMIN SHINGLER
Last updated 09:46 21/06/2013
SunNews

A massive blast at a Canadian fireworks factory has killed at least two.

Canada factory blast
Reuters Zoom
Firefighters work at the site of an explosion at a fireworks factory at Coteau du Lac, west of Montreal.

Relevant offers

Americas

Donald Trump's dark vision of America based on specious numbers US kayaker's dramatic encounter with two humpback whales RNC Day 4: Donald Trump vows to 'fix America' The most and least popular ideas in Donald Trump's convention speech Pokemon Go-playing driver hits police car: 'That's what I get for playing' RNC is like 'politics on speed' say New Zealand MPs Two former paramedics charged in 'selfie war' with patients Flight attendant tells Muslim passenger, 'I will be watching you' Filmmaker Michael Moore: 'Sorry,' but Trump likely to win New York sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins repealed

A massive explosion at a Canadian fireworks warehouse has killed two workers and caused a huge plume of smoke to blanket an area west of Montreal.

A series of explosions spread from the charred building after the initial blast at BEM Fireworks near Valleyfield, Quebec. Images from the scene showed a building near a major highway completely destroyed.

Provincial police said two bodies were found in the wreckage but they did not identify them.

Nearly two hours after the blast, fireworks could still be heard exploding at the scene of the fire that continued to burn out of control hours after the explosion, according to witnesses.

Local fire chief Stephane Massicotte said since the warehouse was filled with pyrotechnics it was difficult to battle the blaze.

"This caused a huge amount of flames and very intense heat," Massicotte told reporters.

He said 150 firefighters were used to battle the flames. Reporters on the ground also indicated that there were no fire hydrants in the vicinity.

"All of a sudden I heard, 'boom, boom, bang,'" Mario Cramerstetter said from his office, which is 1.6 kilometres away from the site.

"Initially I thought it was a bulldozer or a tractor but then we saw a big puff smoke. We kept on hearing popping, fireworks going off all the time."

Cramerstetter said it looked like a small building caught fire first and then spread to a larger storage unit.

"We got really, really, really scared," said Ginette Liboiron, who runs a convenience store across a highway overpass.

"I thought my store was falling to the ground. It shook like you can't imagine... We all went outside to see and saw the big, incredible smoke," she said. "It went high up in the air, then it became black, black, black."

Police ordered the surrounding community of Coteau-du-Lac evacuated. A nearby highway was also closed in both directions.

Police also said low traces of metal materials were found in the surrounding area.

Video captured by a news helicopter showed fireworks igniting inside the remnants of the smouldering building.

According to its website, BEM has been designing and manufacturing pyrotechnics and fireworks for 25 years.

Robert Sauve, the mayor of Coteau-du-Lac, said the business has about 20 employees and the owner lives in the community, less than an hour's drive southwest of Montreal.

"This was a very respectable business, and it seems what happened this morning was an accident," he told reporters.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content