Were you in the area?
Submit your breaking news, stories, photos and videos.
Upload Now You must be a member of the CBC News Community to upload. Sign Up now.
Two bodies have been found at the site of an explosion in an industrial area of Sherbrooke, Que.
Const. René Dubreuil, spokesman for the Sherbrooke police, said the bodies were found Thursday afternoon when emergency workers were combing through the debris.
Hours later, another person was found amid the debris, said Dubreuil.
"She was hiding in the debris and she was hiding because she was scared," said Dubreuil. "The person was found by firefighters when they made a search of the building to find people who were missing."
A total of 19 people were brought to the emergency room at the Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre (CHUS). Of those 19 people, four were transferred to the burn unit at Montreal's Hôtel-Dieu hospital and one remains in intensive care, according to Sylvie Vallières, spokeswoman for the CHUS.
Two of the people transferred were airlifted by helicopter.
Typically, burn victims who are transferred to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital have received burns to more than 30 per cent of their body along with burns to the face and respiratory tracts.
"We have quickly tried to identify all the patients we received so we could communicate with families," said Céline Gervais, director of nursing at the hospital. "We opened up places to hold families in this hard time."
A Code Orange was issued at the hospital and all on-duty doctors were called to assist with the injured.
The explosion happened at about 1:30 p.m. ET at Neptune Technologies et Bioressources Inc., located in the industrial area on Pépin Street.
The company makes health products from krill oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.
At a brief news conference this evening, Neptune chief operating officer Michel Chartrand said the company is providing the appropriate support to its staff.
Chartrand said the company will continue to investigate the cause of the explosion with emergency services.
"All we're preoccupied with right now is our employees' well-being," said Chartrand. "Our next steps will be focused on them."
Fire followed explosion
The blast sparked a fire at the site and thick black smoke could be seen for kilometres.
Authorities say they were flooded with over a hundred calls within minutes of the explosion from people who heard the blast.
Firefighters arrived quickly and buildings surrounding the site were evacuated.
By 3:45 p.m., fire officials said the fire had been brought under control, but that they were still in emergency mode.
A fire department spokesman said that all 65 employees had been accounted for.
Three people were initially reported missing but then located.
Police set up a large perimeter around the site and asked people to stay away while they kept searching the debris because of the risk of toxic exposure.
Environment Quebec said the toxicity concern stemmed from the plant's 15,000-litre acetone reserve, which was struck by the fire.
Acetone is flammable, and when ingested can cause irritation.
During a news conference Thursday evening, Dr. Marc-André Leclair said the fumes were not toxic and that everyone should be reassured.
Transport Quebec closed Highway 410 in both directions between Highway 10 and de Portland Street to divert traffic from the area.
It's remains unclear what caused the blast.With files from The Canadian Press
Headlines Newsview all
A 20-year-old Dartmouth man who pleaded guilty to several charges in relation to two dramatic abduction attempts was sentenced to 5.5 years minus time served ... Full story
Boyfriend of missing Halifax woman received a strange text message from the cellphone of his girlfriend
The boyfriend of a missing Halifax woman told CBC News he is suspicious about the last text message he received from his girlfriend's cellphone before ... Full story
Senator Pamela Wallin is listed as a resident of Toronto — and not Saskatchewan, the province she represents in the Senate — according to the ... Full story
Rate this article
- Oppenheimer Park protest raises issue of aboriginal claim to urban Vancouver
- 3 prominent retail names in Canada battling hard to survive more U.S. competition
- America 'a great place for 2nd chances': Why Rick Perry may run again for president
When Vancouver police served an eviction notice to a small group of homeless people camping in a downtown park recently, the protesters responded with some ...
Foreign retailers have flooded the Canadian market in recent years opening hundreds of new stores and the pressure may be too much for some long-established retail ...
Gov. Rick Perry may have set his sights on the Texas border with his plan to send 1,000 state National Guard troops to boost security, ...
Bring up world events in almost any conversation these days and the sense of confusion pours out at a flood tide. "There's more crises out there ...
David Lynn, the president and CEO of Canada West Ski Areas Association, has written to Employment Minister Jason Kenney to complain about the recent changes ...
Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine today, bringing ...
Israel and the Palestinians accused each other of war crimes at an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, and both said their ...
U.S. officials have made almost 200 arrests and seized more than $625,000 in illicit profits in a month-long crackdown on human smuggling in response to ...
J.A. Happ faced pressure before he even stepped on to the mound Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. A night after the Blue Jays got blown out ...
Even the skies have limits, but whether or not sovereign airspace is "safe" may not always be best judged by the nation controlling it. That became ...