November 8th, 2012
10:23 PM ET

2 dead, 1 rescued after explosion at building in Quebec

An explosion today in an industrial area in Quebec province killed two people, with another rescued alive after an extensive search, a city spokeswoman said.

Seventeen people were hospitalized after Thursday's explosion in Sherbrooke, a  community about 150 kilometers (90 miles) east of Montreal, according to city spokeswoman Sylvie Proulx. Four of those were in critical condition Thursday night.

The blast occurred at a Neptune Technologies & Bioressources facility, according to CNN affiliates CBC and CTV, though it was not immediately clear what caused it. On its website, Neptune says it produces krill oil that is used in health supplements.

The afternoon blast prompted the evacuation of several families from the area, but they have since been allowed back in their homes, Proulx said.

Video shot after the explosion showed a large plume of gray smoke extending from the building. But by evening, the fire and any toxic substances were believed to be contained, with provincial environmental officials continuing to monitor the air, said Proulx.

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