Eight people were rushed to hospital following a fiery explosion at a wood-manufacturing plant in Beauceville, Que., on Monday morning.
Those who were injured, some with severe burns, were taken to nearby Saint-Georges Hospital.
Six people suffered injuries so serious that they had to be intubated and transferred to the trauma unit at the Enfant-Jesus Hospital in Quebec City for more specialized care.
Representatives from the regional health authority, the CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches, are being sent to support the families of those injured.
According to its company’s website, the factory specializes in the drying and processing of “jointed and laminated wood into door and window components.”
Police were called to the site of the incident at 134th Street around 7:30 a.m. Monday.
The Sûreté du Québec are investigating to establish the cause and circumstance of the fire. Repairs were being done on the building but it is too early to say whether that led to the explosion, said SQ spokesperson Hélène Saint-Pierre.
Saint-Pierre said the SQ’s major crimes unit is also looking at whether the explosion was criminal.
Firefighters were also at the scene Monday morning, dousing water on the nearby laundry services building to protect it. The company handles laundry for health-care institutions in the region.
Mireille Gaudreau, a spokesperson for the CISSS, told CBC News drinking water in the area could be affected because of all the water the firefighters are using.
Daniel Fortin, who works for the town of Beauceville, also told Radio-Canada that the municipality is asking residents not to use too much water today and is advising anyone who lives near the factory to close their windows due to the smoke.
Beauceville is located about 80 kilometres southeast of Quebec City.