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Stop-work order issued following silo explosion in Burnside

Stop-work order issued following silo explosion
WATCH: A stop work order has been issued to Quality Concrete for its Burnside Location after a silo containing fly ash exploded yesterday afternoon. Alicia Draus has more on the cleanup efforts and what happens next.

A stop-work order has been issued to Quality Concrete for its Burnside location after a silo exploded Monday afternoon.

Tracey Tulloch, a spokesperson with Stevens Group, which owns Quality Concrete, said they are referring to the incident as a “fly ash silo failure.”

READ MORE: ‘No major injuries’ after silo explodes at Dartmouth concrete plant

“It’s never happened to my knowledge before with our company,” said Tulloch. “It’s one of those things when you’re storing products there’s always a risk of things potentially happening, but we pride ourselves with our safety compliance and our safety work that we do.”

“It was a surprise to us that it happened.”

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The Department of Labour is now investigating the incident and Tulloch said they are fully co-operating with that investigation. The department declined an interview request, but in an email confirmed the investigation is ongoing.

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“Additionally, one of the department’s occupational hygienists attended the site to understand any potential impacts related to air quality,” the email reads.

Department of Environment staff were also at the site Monday night, and regulations require that Quality Concrete have a qualified person to manage cleanup of the dust and sediment. The department also said that fly ash is not classified as a hazardous material under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Halifax Water is also taking part in the clean-up efforts. They were on scene shortly after the explosion, equipping sewers and manhole covers with a filter to prevent the fly ash from getting into the water system.

“In the storm water system we only want rain water and snow melt going down, and to our waste water treatment plants we only want human waste and toilet paper,” said James Campbell with Halifax Water.

“So we try and keep materials out of our system that don’t belong there.”

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While Quality Concrete is under a stop-work order, Stevens Group has 17 plants in operation in the region. Tulloch said they are working to make sure everything is in order at all locations, but was vague on what safety precautions are being taken.

“Our safety officer has already gone through the various inspections and checks to make sure all the other locations are running to full speed,” she said.

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