Fireball set off explosion in Veolia shop

A fireball from an explosion in a dust collector set off another explosion inside a Sarnia shop during a 2014 incident that killed one worker and injured others.

Veolia Environmental Services and a company manager, Anthony Lavoratore, were charged with criminal negligence following the Oct. 25, 2014 fire and explosion that killed 37-year-old Jason Miller.

Miller was one of six men injured. He died days later in hospital.

Charges were laid in 2015 and the trial began during January in Sarnia court but has been spread over many days during the past seven months.

The shop was used to melt aluminum wire and spray it on pipes as an anti-corrosion treatment. Dust was created during the process.

A worker has testified the amount of dust in the air made it impossible to see from one end of the shop to the other.

The dust is combustible but the Material Safety Data Sheet for the wire being used cited no explosive hazard.

The incident began with a flash fire outside a dust collector parked outside the Scott Road shop. Then there was an explosion inside the collector that set a fireball rolling across the parking lot.

The fireball also went into the shop through a partially opened overhead door and flexible rubber ducts sucking dust from the shop and into the collector.

The dust in the collector could have been ignited by a hot particle sucked from the shop, static electricity inside the collector or friction created by an auger moving dust through the collector, said James Bennett, a…

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