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Two men were working in a large metal basin doing welding work when one of the men was suddenly overcome and fell unconscious after having inhaled argon gas. His companion tried to assist the injured man and was himself overcome by the dangerous and highly concentrated fumes.
The two young men welding in the metal tank were sub-contractors performing contract work at the plant.
The third victim, who was well trained in first aid and was attempting to rescue the two helpless workers, entered the area before proper ventilation of the dangerous gas could be dissipated and herself was overcome with gas poisoning. Nancy Desnoyers, a local resident, was attempting to help the men when she succumbed to the toxic atmosphere in the tank. A mother of three children, Nancy had worked at the plant for 9 years. All of Knowlton is saddened to learn of this tragic end of such a heroic person. Our sympathis to the family and friends of such a brave and selffless person.
The two would be rescuers who attempted to save the first victim were in a critical state of emergency at the University Hospital in Sherbrooke but have since died from their injuries.
The local coroner and the CSST, the government body responsible for workplace safety, are investigating the tragic event.
Les Emballages Knowlton is a large emplyer in the Lac Brome region and such a sad event left the workers and residents of the town speechless with a micture of disbelief and sadness. Thoughts and prayers go out to all First Responders of the Knowlton area and especially to the families of the workers involved.
Les Emballages Knowlton is a large manufacturer and packager of brand name hygiene products, shampoos and well known over the counter products. They employ over 600 people in their ultra-modern establishment of over 400,000 square feet in the heart of Lac Brome.