Man injured in Newfoundland refinery explosion has died
Health & Safety Braya Renewable Fuels newfoundland and labrador Oil and gas Oil Refinery Worker Fatality
One of the workers injured in the Sept. 2 explosion at the refinery in Come By Chance, Newfoundland has died, refinery owner Braya Renewables said.
The explosion at the refinery about 150 kilometres west of St. John’s sent eight people to hospital. Six workers have returned home, and one remains in hospital.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” Braya Renewables said in an emailed statement.
Glenn Nolan, president of United Steelworkers Local 9316 which represents many staff at the refinery, identified the deceased as union member Shawn Peddle.
The union posted a tribute to Facebook on Sunday notifying members of Peddle’s death, saying “this is a very sad day” and offering condolences to his family.
The post said Peddle died in hospital after “fighting for his life for the past six weeks.”
The cause of the explosion and subsequent fire at the refinery is being investigated by police and the province’s Occupational Health and Safety division.
The refinery, which is a main source of employment in the area, was once an oil-producing plant that has been going through the process of conversion to a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel operation.
Braya Renewables said in a statement the worker who died was a “well-known labourer with Braya and an integral part of the team working to convert the refinery.”
The refinery says it will “do everything we can to learn from this tragedy and help prevent similar incidents from happening.”
The union’s Facebook post about the death says the tragedy was “preventable” and calls for the RCMP to investigate the incident under the Westray law and “leave no stone unturned.”
Bill C-45 — also known as the Westray law — was introduced in 2003 to amend the Criminal Code and add new legal responsibilities for workplace health and safety and impose penalties for violations that result in death or injury.
The law is named after the Westray mining disaster in which 26 miners were killed when methane gas ignited in the Plymouth, N.S., coal mine in May 1992.
Premier Andrew Furey and federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, who represents the St. John’s South-Mount Pearl district, tweeted messages of support for the man’s family Sunday evening.
Furey urged those affected to seek out mental health services while O’Regan wrote that nobody should go to work worried they may not come home.