Rescue of over 35 hours at Domtar: “hard work”

The rescue operation to recover two employees who worked in a silo at the Domtar factory in Windsor continued on Wednesday, more than 35 hours after the workplace accident.

• Read also: The rescue operation still underway at the Domtar plant

• Read also: Windsor: three seriously injured in an industrial accident in a factory

Even though the state of health of the two trapped workers is unknown, and rescuers have not had any signs of life, rescuers are still trying to reach them.

The meticulous operation is carried out by members of the height and confined space rescue unit of the Sherbrooke Fire Protection Service.

“The difficulty is access, but also, with each of the objects that you remove, you have to measure the impact on the rest of the structure. What needs to be done is hard work, patience, to succeed in clearing the place where people are stuck, ”explains Stéphane Simoneau, director of the Sherbrooke fire department.

Each piece of equipment must therefore be removed one at a time and evacuated at the top in the hope of reaching the workers, without causing another collapse.

The cylinder where the experts must venture and at the bottom of which the workers are stuck is about sixty meters high, with a diameter of about ten meters.

Access to the cylinder is possible through three hatches of about thirty inches, or about 75 cm.

The accident occurred around 1:15 am on the night of Monday to Tuesday, in the factory which was shut down to allow work.

The scaffolding inside, which was five stories high, collapsed on the workers for a reason not officially known.

Thermal cameras were used to locate the victims, but they were unsuccessful due to the extensive rubble.

The Domtar plant manager declined to confirm whether the stranded people were Domtar employees or contractors.

The event is still under investigation by the CNESST and also the Sûreté du Québec.

Major SQ crimes are deployed on site, and a command post has been established.

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