At least 1 worker missing after propane explosion in Quebec
SAINT-ROCH-DE-L’ACHIGAN, Quebec (AP) — An explosion hit a propone facility in Quebec on Thursday, and at least one worker is missing, municipal officials said.
Quebec provincial police said evacuations were underway in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, a town about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Montreal.
Municipal officials had earlier said three or four employees were unaccounted for, but provincial police Sgt. Éloïse Cossette told a news conference this afternoon “at least one person” is missing and there could be more.
Fire Chief François Thivierge said authorities were called following an explosion at 11:17 a.m., and the first units to arrive tried to intervene but had to back off due to a risk of further explosions.
Thivierge said the fire is not under control and officials are being prudent due to safety risks and the environmental risk of oil or gas ending up in a nearby river.
The explosion occurred at Propane Lafortune, a well-known business in the community.
Authorities established a one-kilometer evacuation zone around the site, but Thivierge said they would be able to reduce that zone later this afternoon.
The regional municipality said more explosions were possible because of the propane tanks on site and it warned people to stay away.
Therrien said authorities had established an evacuation zone extending one kilometer (a half mile) out from the site.
The local ambulance service said paramedics were present but had not been able to approach the scene because of the danger.