Media report cites workplace concerns at site of Alberta plant explosion
By The Canadian Press
A media report says a wood pellet plant west of Edmonton where a fire and explosion occurred this week was also the scene of a fire early last month
Three people, including one with serious injuries, were sent to hospital after the blast Monday at the Pinnacle Renewable Energy site in Entwistle.
CTV News says Alberta Labour reports there was a fire at the complex on Jan. 2 that did not result in injuries, although the British-Columbia-based company had to submit an investigation report to the provincial department.
Alberta Labour has also told CTV that Occupational Health and Safety inspections were carried out at the plant in December and again last month following complaints from workers.
CTV says a government spokesperson said the inspections resulted in one work order regarding the safeguarding of equipment.
Andrea Johnston, Pinnacle’s chief financial officer, has said in a statement that Monday’s fire and explosion were a first for the plant and the complex has a strong safety record to date.
Almost two dozen firefighting vehicles responded to Monday’s emergency. Two of the injured were treated and released, while the third person, a 28-year-old man, remains in hospital.
Pinnacle has not yet determined the cause of the fire and provincial investigators remain at the plant, which began operations last September.
Johnston called the explosion “upsetting for all Pinnacle employees.”
Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. manufactures and distributes industrial wood pellets that are burned by utilities for home or industrial heating. (CTV Edmonton)