Quebec Standard

Three people were hurt after the blast, fire at Sherbrooke food lab


Key takeaways: 

  • People working nearby heard ‘a big boom’ at about 8:30 a.m.
  • On Wednesday morning, three individuals were injured after a blast at a food laboratory in Sherbrooke, Que. 

An explosion took place at the Food lab: 

Three people were hurt Wednesday morning after an explosion and a major blaze at a large food laboratory in Sherbrooke, Que.

Fire units and paramedics responded to the Centre de valorisation de l’aliment de l’Estrie (CVA) after reports of a blast at approximately 8:30 a.m.

“They’re dealing with burns, but we still don’t know the extent of the damages,” Stéphane Simoneau, director of the Sherbrooke fire division, told Radio-Canada.

The industrial structure includes some industrial kitchens, food processing storehouses, workshops, and other food-related businesses.

It’s not clear if the wounds are life-threatening.

Six additional fire units and approximately 40 firefighters are on-site, and Simoneau anticipates teams to be there all day.

“There was a lot of explosive material inside,” he said, adding that the blast appears to have damaged the structure’s sprinkler system and stopped it from triggering.

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Blast at the Food Lab leaves three people injured

It’s still too early to determine the burst source, but “it seems clear” unsafe materials were in play. 

Firefighters will be considering what was inside the warehouse once the perimeter is secured. 

Because the building is unstable, fire units are taking a more defensive approach and working to secure the perimeter, Simoneau stated.

Neighbors heard ‘a big boom.’

Dominic Diorio worked nearby and said he and his coworkers thought there had been an accident in their courtyard.

“There was a big boom. Our offices shocked,” he said. “Unfortunately, we noticed the CVA had gone up in flames.”

CVA co-owner Ashley Wallis is even stunned.

“I’m in surprise,” said Wallis. “The emphasis was to see if everyone was alive. It’s been a tough morning.”

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