Carbon monoxide leak in N.B. plant raises questions
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:04PM AST
The investigation continues into a suspected carbon monoxide leak that sent dozens to hospital in Miramichi.
All of the affected employees were released from hospital late yesterday.
Today nearby residents are questioning the company's policy on notifying the community.
Ronald Landry lives near the Sunny Corner Enterprise plant on Miramichi's Walsh Avenue. He noticed a flurry of activity yesterday morning.
“I was driving through the industrial park and I noticed a lot of fire trucks, ambulances, hazmat, everything you could think,” explains Landry. “Of course you stop to see what is going on.” .
The plant was evacuated after a suspected carbon monoxide leak.
About 3 dozen employees of Sunny Corner Enterprises and Sandvik, a company that shares the plant, were taken to hospital when one employee complained of nausea, dizziness and a headache.
Initially, Ambulance New Brunswick reported that 7 of those employees were in critical condition when they left the plant.
Landry says not being aware of what was going on during that time caused fear among residents.
“You think they would have made people more aware, what was going on just around the corner from us,” adds a local resident.
“You just hear that all the people went to the hospital and there is ambulances around and everything like that,” says Katelin Dick, who lives nearby. “So you are just worried about what actually happened and if it was a big concern.”
Sunny Corner's CEO, Henri Mikhael says there was no need to communicate the situation to nearby residents as it was clear to experts early on that the leak had been contained.
He says the company acted quickly when it learned of the leak.
“We evacuated the building,” says Mikhael. “Then the fire department was here, we ventilated the building. We closed the doors and the heating systems were operating. The levels of carbon monoxide were normal.”
Mikhael says a tactical team will determine through an investigation when it will be safe to reopen the plant. “So we are working as diligently but we are taking the time to analyze and understand and be confident that we have a good grasp of this situation.”
Workplace New Brunswick is continuing its investigation.
With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell