cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Thu, 08 May 2014 09:51:10 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Explosions at Brampton propane facility send worker to hospital



This still image from a video captured by Instagram user @tragic_inc shows a fireball after multiple explosions at a propane filling facility in Brampton Wednesday night. @tragic_inc

This still image from a video captured by Instagram user @tragic_inc shows a fireball after multiple explosions at a propane filling facility in Brampton Wednesday night. @tragic_inc

A fire that broke out after multiple explosions at a Brampton, Ont., propane facility Wednesday night is now extinguished and the area is safe, though fire officials say the situation could have been much worse.

Firefighters were called to the Liquide Air compressed gas facility near Steeles Avenue West and Dixie Road, just north of Pearson airport, at around 9:30 p.m. ET 

The exploding canisters weighed about 30 to 100 pounds, about five times the size of a typical barbecue tank.

Fire crews worked quickly to keep larger tanks cool and prevent them from exploding.

"It could've been much worse," said Brampton fire Chief Andy MacDonald on Wednesday. "The idea is to try to keep the tanks in the area cool. Our quick response in getting water on those tanks that were surrounding the fire ... keeping any other tank from exploding is what enabled us to be able to eventually get to the tank from the back side and shut down the big tank."

Officials believe the fire started when the worker was transferring propane from a larger tank to a smaller one — alsothe cause of the 2008 Sunrise propane explosion in the Downsview area of Toronto that resulted in the death of two people and the evacuation of nearby homes and businesses.      

The exact number of the propane tanks involved in Wednesday's explosions is not immediately available, but the Air Liquide facility is a large plant that supplies a number of agencies.

As firefighters were at the scene, police shut down CN Rail lines in the area due to concerns that flying debris from the fire may hit the trains.

Police have also shut down businesses in the area, but there is no risk to residents as there are no residential buildings or homes in the immediate area, a Peel Regional Police spokesperson said.

One male employee at the facility was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries due to minor burns, police said.

The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating.

The explosions were caught on camera by social media users.

- On mobile? Click here and here to see the Instagram videos

more video