Burns Lake Wood Pellet Mill Explosion

One man suffered third degree burns and two other employees were injured in an explosion at a wood pellet plant in Burns Lake on Thursday October 9th, 2014.  Leroy Reitsma, president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy plant said a “fire-related incident” happened at the Burns Lake mill, located on Highway 16 east of Burns Lake, at around 8 am.

See the full Vancouver Sun story.

See the National Post story.

Firm fined over combustible dust

According to a list of recent penalties on the WorkSafeBC website, the same firm was fined $48,838.01 earlier this year after hazardous levels of dust were found in the main pellet plant building.

The document states that the dust accumulations “were close to or in direct contact with potential ignition hazards.

“The firm’s failure to control and remove hazardous accumulations of combustible dust that could cause a fire or explosion was a repeated and high-risk violation.”

Speaking to CBC News, Pinnacle Energy CEO Leroy Reitsma denied the fire was caused by dust.

“The event itself occurred in a piece of processing equipment, so it is not the result of an external accumulation of combustible dust,” said Reitsma.

Reitsma said the fire took place while operations were down. The firm’s own investigation team is also attending the scene, he said.

See the complete CBC story.