Firework Factory Explodes in Montreal: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A large explosion has occurred at the B.E.M. fireworks factory west of Montreal, sending giant plumes of smoke into the air and prompting an emergency response and evacuation.

In this video you can see fireworks launching into the sky out of the raging blaze:

Explosion chez BEM Feux d'artificeDans la matinée du 20 juin 2013, l'entreprise BEM à Coteau-du-Lac a été victime d'une impressionnante explosion qui s'est fait entendre dans tout Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Vidéo citoyenne de Leslie Madigan de Coteau-du-Lac.2013-06-20T13:41:56.000Z

Here’s what we know about this breaking story:

1. ‘B.E.M. is a ‘Master Fireworks Handler’

bem fireworks factory explosion

The factory is located at 62 Rue Masson, Coteau-du-Lac. It appears to be in a rural neighborhood:

According to the company’s website, B.E.M. is a “master fireworks handler” that both makes fireworks and conducts fireworks shows.

Here’s a fireworks safety page featured on the site:

2. The Area is Evacuated

The blast reportedly prompted an evacuation, with perimeter set up in a 1-kilometer radius or greater, depending on varying reports.

3. A Major Traffic Artery Has Been Shut Down

Highway 20, which connects with Quebec City with Montreal, is closed in both directions. Wikipedia calls Highway 20 “a major Quebec autoroute through one of the most densely populated parts of Canada.”

4. The Fire is Fiercely Raging and Difficult to Contain

As of 9:45 a.m., the fire was still burning and small explosions continued. According to the Montreal Gazette, the intense blaze is preventing firefighters from approaching, and firefighting helicopters are engaged.

5. Injuries Are Unknown at the Time

According to the Montreal Gazette, a local police official cannot confirm whether there are injuries:

“I can’t tell you if there are (people) injured or not,” Sgt. Joyce Kemp of the Sûreté du Québec said.

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