Canada
Company accused of storing excess amount of dangerous chemicals prior to deadly Quebec plant explosion

Credits: CLAUDE CROISETIÈRE/JOURNAL DE SHERBROOKE/QMI AGENCY

QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL — Quebec's environment ministry accuses the factory that exploded killing three people and wounding 19 others had illegally stored high amounts of dangerous liquid and conducted renovations without a permit.

About 15,000 litres of acetone, a common solvent, ignited on Nov. 8 and gutted the factory Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, located in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Two workers were found dead under rubble and a third died in hospital from burns.

The environment ministry said Friday Neptune was licensed to store 33,000 litres of acetone outside its factory and 6,000 litres inside. However, the ministry told QMI Agency Friday there was storage space at the factory for 92,000 litres of acetone. The ministry told QMI Agency Friday that it was considering taking

Neptune to court over the factory's alleged illegal acetone storage.

Moreover, the Quebec government accused the company of conducting renovations on the factory without obtaining the proper permits.

A well-placed source with Neptune told QMI Agency the company asked the environment ministry for an emergency meeting to discuss the allegations. The source said Neptune will comment publicly on the allegations after the meeting.

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