A Domtar paper plant is shown in Windsor, Que., Thursday, January 6, 2011. More than 36 hours after a multi-storey scaffold collapsed at a Quebec paper mill, rescue crews continue to search for two workers trapped in the debris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Two workers trapped under debris at Quebec paper mill found dead

WINDSOR, Que. — Two workers trapped under debris of a collapsed multi-storey scaffold at a Quebec paper mill have been found dead.

In a Twitter post, Domtar confirmed one of the deaths at the mill in Windsor, Que.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family members of Mr. Yan Baillargeon and the colleagues affected by this tragic accident,” the statement read. “This tragic event affects us all. Domtar is fully co-operating and participating in the ongoing investigation by the Sûreté du Québec and the CNESST to determine the cause of the accident.”

The CSN union also released a statement confirming the two deaths.

“The CSN is mourning that two of the workers involved in the collapse at the Domtar plant were reportedly found dead at the end of today,” the union said Wednesday night.

“One death at work is always one death too many. All our sympathies to the families and relatives of the two victims.”

On Wednesday, Sherbrooke fire Chief Stéphane Simoneau told reporters that the workers had been trapped in a silo about 60 metres high. The scaffolding had been installed inside the silo before several storeys of it collapsed.

A specialized rescue squad from the Sherbrooke fire department was called in to support the local fire department in Windsor, which is about 150 kilometres east of Montreal.

The incident took place shortly after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The mill’s emergency team rescued five people, Simoneau said, including one person who was in critical condition. “Thanks to them, they were able to save a life. Now, there are two lives still to be saved,” he said.

The local ambulance service said three people were taken to hospital after the collapse, including the man who was in critical condition. He is expected to survive.

The workers are employed by a contracting firm that is doing major work at the mill.

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