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On August 10, 2008, a propane explosion occurred at the Sunrise Propane distribution plant located on Murray Road in Toronto, Ontario. The explosion forced the evacuation of approximately 12,500 residents and caused widespread damage and injury. Sunrise employee Parminder Singh Saini, 25, was killed in the explosion, and firefighter Bob Leek died of a heart attack while battling the fire.

The Office of the Fire Marshal concluded the blast was caused by a tank-to-tank transfer and a gas hose leak.

A $300 million class action has been launched against numerous defendants:

(a) Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc., 1367229 Ontario Inc., 1186728 Ontario Limited, 1452049 Ontario Inc. (the operators of the propane distribution facility);

(b) Valery Belahov, Shay Ben Moshe, Leonid Belahov, Arie Belahov (the officers and directors of some of these companies);

(c) 2094528 Ontario Inc. (the owner of 54, 63 and 20 Murray Road);

(d) HGT Holdings Ltd. (the owner of 48 Murray Road); and

(e) Teskey Construction Co. Ltd., and Teskey Concrete (corporations which lease the propane distribution facility).

Class actions against the City of Toronto have been dropped.

Sunrise and its directors are also facing charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (allegedly failing to properly train the worker who died) and the Environmental Protection Act (allegedly failing to confirm certain verbal notices in writing, as required by an Order). It is this trial that is about to start.

 

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