BUSINESS

Sunrise Propane Guilty: Toronto Explosion Killed 1, Forced Thousands Out Of Homes In 2008

06/27/2013 11:36 EDT | Updated 08/27/2013 05:12 EDT
CP
TORONTO - An Ontario company has been convicted of violating environmental and labour regulations in connection with the 2008 explosion of a propane plant in Toronto that killed a man and forced thousands from their homes.

Court documents show Sunrise Propane and its directors, Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belshov, have been found guilty of nine provincial-offences charges in relation to the explosion.

The court ruled Sunrise failed to provide safety training and a safe working environment, discharged a contaminant and contravened a number of provincial orders related to the cleanup after the August 10 blast.

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The company was cleared on one count of failing to comply with a provincial order.

The court also found Ben-Moshe and Belahov failed to take all reasonable care to prevent the company from flouting those orders.

Ontario government lawyers argued training negligence in a fireball that killed employee Parminder Saini, 25, and rained debris on the surrounding area. A responding firefighter died of a heart attack.

The explosion displaced some 12,500 residents and caused millions in property damage.

Court has heard Saini was "incinerated" during a risky truck-to-truck propane transfer, while fellow employee Felipe De Leon escaped from the blast.

A defence lawyer argued that Saini and De Leon had received training and were responsible for the explosion.