Councillor demands review of fuel plant explosion
Winnipeg city Coun. Dan Vandal is demanding to know why the city wasn't aware a business that caught fire was storing explosive biofuel.
Fuel tanks at Speedway International, a plant that produces racing methanol, exploded on Oct. 1 and created a fireball that could be seen for kilometres.
Company officials and fire officials are at odds over the incident. On Tuesday, fire official said Speedway didn't have an inspection or permit to manufacture biodiesel, but the company insists it followed proper procedures.
Deputy fire chief Bill Clark said firefighters had no idea of what they were dealing with when they arrived at the plant in the St. Boniface industrial park.
Clark said the only permit on the city records for Speedway was an occupancy permit issued in 1998, when the company was manufacturing windshield washing fluid.
Vandal, who represents the St. Boniface area, said the province should have made sure Speedway had all the proper documents after the company went through environmental hearings.
"I don't understand how Manitoba Conservation can have an environmental hearing, award an environmental licence to manufacture biodeisel to a private company … how that's not communicated to the city," he said.
He also wondered why the city annually inspects seniors homes for fire hazards and not industry.
"I don't know why we can't apply the same standard to heavy industries as we do to seniors' blocks all over the city of Winnipeg. There's lots of room for improvement here," Vandal said, adding he wants a review of the entire Speedway incident.