Public meeting on St. Catharines explosion-fire at factory raises concerns about ditch water, access to subdivision


Published March 9, 2023 at 4:52 pm

The safety of the ditch water in the neighbourhood around the Ssonix Products plant, which exploded in January, as well as secondary road access in and out of the subdivision both rose as concerns at last night's public meeting. (Photo: Twitter)

A public meeting held last night (March 8) about the after-effects of the Jan. 12 Ssonix Products explosion and fire on Keefer Rd. in St. Catharines assured local residents that their drinking water and air quality are both safe.

However, the explosion that killed a lone worker at the facility, 37-year-old Ryan Konkin, has possibly left contaminated water in nearby ditches so residents were advised to keep their children and pets away from those areas near the destroyed plant.

Testing of soil by the Ministry of the Environment with results is expected to be done in two weeks. As well, the area around the building has been shored up to stop any run-off of rain or melted snow water.

Also of concern is access to the neighbourhood as there is only one road leading in and out. A temporary second access was used in the morning hours on Jan. 12 and Mayor Mat Siscoe has suggested that the city may look at making it permanent as one option.

Siscoe said that situation on Keefer Rd. has served as a warning to the city that staff should check all neighbourhoods for secondary exits when there is simply one road in and out of a subdivision.

Even after nearly two months, the cause of the Ssonix Products explosion and fire is still unknown. There is presently no timeframe on when the Ontario Fire Marshall will finish its investigation.

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