Canadian Manufacturing

Blast at West Fraser Mills plant could halt production for a week

No one was hurt when an explosion and fire damaged one side of the West Pine MDF mill about 600 kilometres north of Vancouver



QUESNEL, B.C.—Investigators remain at the scene of an explosion at a wood products mill in Quesnel, B.C.

No one was hurt March 9 when a blast and fire damaged one side of the West Pine MDF mill, at the northern end of the Cariboo community, about 600 kilometres north of Vancouver.

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the mill employs about 100 people and all the workers on shift at around 5:30 Wednesday were safely evacuated.

West Pine MDF, operated by Quesnel-based West Fraser Mills Ltd., (TSX:WFT) uses sawdust and other materials to manufacture plywood-like boards known as medium density fibreboard.

Firefighters knocked down the blaze and spent the night dousing hot spots on the side of the plant where the sawdust is fed into the building.

A cause of the explosion is under investigation and Simpson hopes the mill can resume operation in about a week.

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