Failed confined space rescue results in three deaths
The Emballages Knowlton plant, in Lac Brome, Quebec, produces and packages products such as makeup and shampoo.
A 30-year-old subcontractor from Montreal died on the scene July 29 after using argon gas to weld inside a large metal tank at the facility. The two would-be rescuers, a 55-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman, died the next day after being taken to a local hospital.
The older man was overcome from fumes after trying to rescue his colleague. The woman, who was trained in first-aid, also fell unconscious after entering the tank.
According to a spokesperson for the Quebec workplace safety board, which is investigating the incident, the welders were not properly equipped to work in a closed space.
"It's certain that there was a shortage of safety equipment," said Antoine Tousignant. "No accident should occur if all the safety rules are followed."