Officers patrolling in Valcourt, Canada, in Quebec's Eastern Townships witnessed a ball of fire early Friday at the Bombardier Recreational Products plant.
An explosion ripped through BRP’s research center about midnight, the Montreal Gazette reported.
A 38-year-old BRP employee and a 54-year-old security guard, who were badly burned, staggered out of the building. They were taken to the burn unit of Enfant Jésus hospital in Quebec City and placed in a medically induced coma.
Quebec’s workplace health and safety board, the CSST, and the Sûreté du Québec, or the Quebec Provincial Police, are investigating, but SQ spokesman Bruno Beaulieu said it appears that the explosion and subsequent fire came from the laboratory of the research center and was accidental rather than criminal in nature.
The plant is where Bombardier manufactures Ski-Doos, Sea-Doos and Can-Am roadsters and does research and development.
Valcourt is the birthplace of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, the inventor and entrepreneur who laid the foundations of Bombardier. In addition to the BRP plant, there is a museum in the town dedicated to the Bombardier family and the history of the iconic snowmobile that begat the multinational company.
In 2003 BRP was created as a separate entity and spun off from Bombardier.
Bombardier employs 65,000 staff and is a transportation giant in rail technology and passenger aircraft in addition to its motorized recreational vehicles.