Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Two badly burned in explosion at Bombardier plant in Quebec

November 9, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Bombardier Recreational Products has closed its complex in Quebec’s Eastern Townships until it determines the cause of an explosion early Friday that left two people with serious burns.

Quebec provincial police said the blast occurred about 20 minutes after midnight and appeared to come from a lab in the facility’s research centre in Valcourt.

They said the victims are a 38-year-old employee and a 54-year-old security guard.

Both were taken to hospital in Quebec City and remained in a medically induced comas, although one is considered to be in stable condition, said hospital spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis.


The complex was closed to employees on Friday but investigators from the provinces’ workplace health and safety commission and the fire department were investigating.

Employees were notified of the explosion early Friday and an information telephone was established to offer support to employees and their families.

Vincent Morin, vice-president development of Can-Am products, said it incident was a shock for everyone.

“Today our thoughts and resources are to support the families,” he told reporters.

Without knowing the cause of the incident, Morin said it’s difficult to say when work will resume.

BRP was spun off by Bombardier Inc. in 2003. It is half owned by Bain Capital, with the founding Beaudoin family holding a 35-per-cent stake and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec owning the rest.

The Valcourt plant produces Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo jet skis and Can-Am all-terrain vehicles.

It is located about 40 kilometres west of Sherbrooke, where another industrial accident Thursday claimed two lives and sent 19 to hospital.

That massive blast and fire rocked the Neptune Technologies and Bioresources plant, which makes health products from marine life.

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