06/21/2013 06:14 EDT | Updated 08/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec Fireworks Factory Explosion Victims Identified

Agence QMI
MONTREAL - Quebec provincial police have released the names of two women who died in a massive explosion that flattened a fireworks plant in Coteau-du-Lac.

The dead were identified as Francine Lacroix, a 47-year-old resident of Riviere-Beaudette, and Nicole Brisson, 58, of Les Coteaux.

Both were employed at B.E.M. Fireworks, whose warehouse and factory buildings were destroyed by a powerful explosion and fire on Thursday.

Provincial police detectives were to meet with about a dozen employees of the company in the coming days for their investigation. Forensic technicians completed their examination of the rubble Thursday night.

Quebec's workplace health and safety board is also investigating.

B.E.M. Fireworks designed and manufactured pyrotechnics and fireworks at its Coteau-du-Lac plant near Montreal for more than 25 years.

About 150 firefighters from 14 departments helped to fight the blaze.

Provincial police are investigating and plan to meet half the company's roughly 20 employees over the coming days. The province's workplace-safety board is also investigating.

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