10/26/2014 12:43 EDT | Updated 12/27/2014 05:59 EST

Sarnia Explosion Leaves 5 Veolia Workers In Hospital


SARNIA, Ont. - A second victim of an explosion at an industrial facility in southwestern Ontario is now in critical condition, police said Sunday.

The worker at the Veolia ES Canada Industrial Services Inc. plant in Sarnia has been airlifted to a hospital in London, Ont., Staff-Sgt. David Bonnema said.

The explosion ripped through the industrial cleaning and maintenance services facility Saturday afternoon, sending five employees to hospital with burn injuries — one of whom was also critically injured and immediately transferred to London.

Bonnema said the Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the blast, which tore a hole in the building's exterior wall. The Ontario Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment are also at the scene.

No chemicals were released in the explosion, he added.

While the scene is contained, a "small, smoldering fire" continues to burn inside the destroyed facility, Sarnia Fire Capt. Dan Nelles said, but crews haven't reached it yet due to danger from the partial collapse of the roof.

"It just puffs a little smoke now and then. So we're still sitting on it, and then trying to deal with that as safely as we can."

Eight workers were inside the building when the blast occurred in the facility's paint shop, with three assessed at the scene and released.

In a statement, Veolia said it is "fully co-operating with the Ministry of Labour and other local authorities to investigate its cause."

"The employees of Veolia are deeply concerned for our co-workers, and our thoughts are prayers are with them at this time."

(The Canadian Press,