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Three injured at pellet plant fire

Pinnacle Pellet temporarily suspends operations

WorkSafe BC officials and other agencies are conducting an investigation into what Pinnacle Pellet is describing as a “fire-related event” at its pellet plant in Houston the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Three employees sustained minor injuries and were taken to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital in Smithers as a precautionary measure, the company said in a statement on Nov. 25. They were released later that day.

Operations were temporarily suspended.

Houston residents the afternoon of Nov. 25 reported hearing a loud boom from the facility.

District of Houston fire chief Jim Daigneault said two of the fire department’s trucks responded to the explosion, which damaged the dryer portion of the plant, and were at the scene for approximately three hours.

“The company expresses thanks to the first response personnel who attended the site,” the Pinnacle statement indicated.

“WorkSafeBC and relevant authorities have been notified and a preliminary investigation is underway to determine the cause of the event. No date has been set for the resumption of operations.”

A WorkSafe BC official confirmed the involvement of the provincial agency.

“The primary purpose of an investigation is to determine the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented in the future,” said Ivy Yuen.