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Sunrise Propane, Toronto, Ontario, August 10, 2008.

On August 10, 2008 Sunrise Propane, located in a suburb of Toronto, experienced an enormous blast. In their fall 2008 issue HazMat Management magazine reported that the strength of the explosion "launched ... tanks twice the size of rail cars off their mounts, one was projected offsite into a nearby City of Toronto works yard. The end of one of the tanks ended up embedded in a road-salt dome some 500 metres away. The incident caused the closure of Highway 401 ... and the evacuation of 12,500 people" from their homes. Two people died due to the accident, however it is shocking that more were not affected due to the size of the blast and the fact that it occurred in a metropolitan area. An investigation into the explosion by several offices found propane was being transferred directly between tanker trucks, a practice prohibited in Ontario. Further, as reported by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), a not-for-profit organization based in Toronto, it was determined that this unsafe practice was routine at the facility.

The legal issues surrounding this incident are as yet unresolved, and even the exact cause of the explosion is not certain, although many articles mention a boiling liquid-expanding vapour (BLEVE) situation, or problems with the truck-to-truck transfer. The TSSA revoked Sunrise Propane's licenses to operate shortly after the incident because Sunrise had been warned about their unsafe practices previously and failed to comply with 'cease and desist' notifications.

As this is a very recent incident, the investigative work is incomplete.

Firefighters in Toronto devise a plan to tackle the flames after multiple explosions at the Sunrise Propane plant in 2008.

Photo by John Riddell
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY: HAZARDS
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Previous Article:A matter of time: Canada lags behind when it comes to protecting its citizens from major accidents. What will it take for regulations to change?
Next Article:Union Carbide, Bhopal, India, December 3, 1984.

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