At least nine people reportedly were hospitalized after a massive explosion and fire Oct. 24 at the AT Plastics plant in Edmonton, Alberta.
According to a news release from AT's parent company, Celanese Corp. of Dallas, the incident was reported about 7:50 a.m. local time.
``Celanese has proactively halted activity at the plant and has contained all necessary raw materials and energy sources. There was no significant release of chemicals into the environment,'' the company said in a statement. Provincial and local officials are investigating to determine the cause of the incident and assess damages. Celanese said it also will investigate.
The plant produces ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers and specialty low density polyethylene resins, according to Celanese spokeswoman Gretchen Rosswurm.
Products made there and marketed under the Ateva brand are used in applications including flexible packaging, thermal lamination film, hot-melt adhesives, concentrates, medical products and photovoltaic cells, she said in an Oct. 24 interview.
Rosswurm said Celanese acquired the plant in 2005. It employs 250.
According to the Canadian Press, nine people were taken from the AT plant to local hospitals. One victim was listed in very serious condition, three were in serious condition and five had minor injuries.
The news agency reported at midday that the fire was under control, but still burning. ``There are some concerns that there is a risk of a second explosion, so they're going to let the fire burn to try to mitigate [that] possibility,'' fire department spokeswoman Nikki Booth said. Early reports said firefighters were concentrating their efforts on flames licking around three storage tanks.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said a major commuter road that passes the AT plant was expected to remain closed for several hours. The area is largely industrial, with two oil refineries and several petrochemical storage tanks.