Two workers still stranded, with 'no contact,' 15 hours after scaffolding collapse in Eastern Townships
A Surete du Quebec badge is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL -- Two workers are still trapped, as of Tuesday evening, with rescuers trying to get them safely out of collapsed multi-storey scaffolding in the town of Windsor in the Eastern Townships.
At least 10 workers were injured, three of them seriously, when the scaffolding collapsed early Tuesday morning.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) said at dawn that one or two workers were still trapped in the debris caused by the falling scaffolding on 12th Road. Firefighters were trying to free them as other shocked workers were treated at the scene.
Police reported that the scaffolding collapsed for an unknown reason while workers were doing repairs on a silo.
The incident occurred at a facility owned by the Domtar paper company.
'NO CONTACT' YET WITH TRAPPED WORKERS
The two trapped workers' state of health is still unknown more than 15 hours after the incident.
"Currently, we have no contact with the workers. We are doing everything to rescue them as quickly as possible," said the general manager of the Domtar factory, Sylvain Bricault, at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
He said, however, that the victims had been "roughly" located and that their families have been contacted.
The injured worker already taken to hospital isn't in danger of losing his life, according to Mr. Bricault.
He said the workers hurt in the accident were not factory employees, but rather worked for contractors who were doing major work at the facility.
All day Tuesday, preparatory work took place to ensure the safety of the responders who will have to carry out the rescue operation, said Mr. Bricault.
He said he coudln't predict the duration of the rescue intervention due to the complexity of the situation, explaining that access to the interior of the area where the collapse occurred is difficult, especially due to "a large amount of material."
The SQ's major crime squad is investigating the incident as well as the worker safety board, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 26, 2021.