3 Killed in Cryogenic Industrial Incident

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 @ 06:12 PM gHale

A workplace incident in the Canadian town of Leduc, just south of Edmonton, Alberta, claimed the lives of three workers.

Just before 3 p.m. on November 15th, emergency crews were called to a chemical-industrial site in the Leduc Business Park.

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Three men aged 31, 34, and 52 who worked there were declared dead soon after. No further details released about the victims’ identities.

Little information has been released about the circumstances surrounding the fatalities.

“We don’t have details of exactly what happened,” said Alberta Federation of Labour spokesperson Trent Bancarz.

Leduc Mayor Bob Young said the men were killed in a “gas accident” and offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

The incident occurred at Millennium Cryogenic Technologies, a facility that uses liquid nitrogen as a strengthening agent for equipment manufactured for the oil industry. The company has not released a statement on the incident.

Cody, the son of Daryn Bondarchuck, one of the men who died, said his father had worked at the plant for about two years. He said his father was a careful person who took safety seriously.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), a provincial government agency, took over the inquiry into the Leduc accident from the RCMP. OHS allowed the company to resume operations in late November.

Nitrogen is a well-known “silent killer” and the risks of asphyxiation have been well-established. According to the OHS website, when there is not enough air or oxygen, asphyxiation and death can (and do) occur.

Between 1992 and 2002, there were 80 deaths related to nitrogen in the USA. The gas is so potent that three states — Alabama, Oklahoma, and Mississippi — have authorized its use as a backup method of capital punishment.

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