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After a fatal explosion, Ontario makes 11 requests and issues 1 directive to St. Catharines plant | Breaking:


The Ontario Ministry of Labor issued 11 demands and one order to Ssonix Products after a explosion at the hazardous waste facility killed one of its employees in January, CBC Hamilton has learned.

The explosion occurred on January 12 in St. Catharines, Ont.

Ministry spokeswoman Jennifer Rushby said in an email Friday afternoon that the requirements and order were issued between January 12 and March 29.

She said it also issued a demand on Feb. 9 to Nalco Canada, a supplier.

Rushby said that when a ministry inspector finds a breach of the Health and Safety Act, they issue warrants. Some examples include clearing debris to avoid tripping hazards or protecting workers from electrical hazards.

Requirements are orders issued when an inspector needs to make inquiries or verify compliance. Examples include a requirement to provide documents or to keep employees away from the crime scene.

Rushby said she could not give more details about what had been spent and said the ministry’s investigation is ongoing.

“Our thoughts are with the employee’s family, friends and colleagues,” she said.

Ssonix Products owner Steve Baker told CBC Hamilton he could not immediately comment.

CBC Hamilton reached out to Nalco for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

Fiancé of killed worker feels ‘relieved’

Niagara Police previously said emergency crews went to the Ssonix Products at 20 Keefer Rd just after 6:30 a.m. were called

Ryan Konkin, 37, was reportedly the only employee in the building.

He was taken to hospital, but later died of his injuries.

His fiancé, Natalia Sepúlveda-Lastra, previously said the first responders who treated him heard his last words.

“He managed to say to the nurses, ‘I just opened the door.’ … I wish I was the one to hear that,” Sepúlveda-Lastra said.

Ryan Konkin, 37, died after an explosion and fire at Ssonix Products on January 12. (Submitted by Natalia Sepúlveda-Lastra)

During a community meeting on March 8, Taylor Buck, a district supervisor for the Department of the Environment, said the last inspection had been in 2020 and the plant had passed.

He added that there were plans to conduct an inspection the week of January 19 — a week after the explosion.

“Not to say inspection would have changed what happened that day, but it certainly could have shed some light on things that could have potentially prevented it,” Buck said.

The Niagara Police Department and Ontario’s Fire Marshal’s office said they were still investigating and would not provide more details.

Sepúlveda-Lastra told CBC Hamilton on Friday that she was “relieved” to hear the update from the ministry, saying she had heard nothing until now.

“I hope this is the start of an investigation that will keep workers safe.”

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