PLANT

Workers exposed to carbon monoxide at NB plant

Propane heater suspected as the cause.


MIRAMICHI, NB — Health and workplace safety officials are investigating a possible case of carbon monoxide poisoning at a fabrication plant in eastern New Brunswick.

About 36 employees at Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc. in Miramichi were taken to hospital Jan. 23 after some reported headaches and feeling nauseous.

Fidel Cormier of WorkSafeNB said the workers were transported to hospital after one person collapsed and others complained of feeling ill.

He said officials with the Crown agency responsible for workplace safety had just started their investigation, but were looking at the possibility that an odour noticed at the facility is linked to carbon monoxide or propane exposure.

Cormier said the workers detected the smell at Sunny Corner Enterprises in Miramichi and called police.

Const. Todd Chadwick of the Miramichi Police Force said the man who collapsed had regained consciousness by the time police arrived, but officers noticed a suspicious smell and the building was evacuated.

He said some of the workers were complaining of headache, nausea and difficulty breathing.

“When the police arrived, the person who had passed out had regained consciousness and was on a chair outside with other employees,” Chadwick added.

Police and fire crews were unable to find the source of the odour but have determined the site is not a danger to the public, he said.

A company official say all of the employees were later released and have fully recovered.

Terry Nowlan said he suspects a propane heater running low on fuel could have spewed the colourless, odourless fumes into the plant.

Sunny Corner Enterprises manufactures industrial equipment.

© 2013 The Canadian Press