Explosion at east-end Toronto chemical plant leaves one dead​, one in critical condition

An explosion at a chemical plant in Toronto’s east end on Wednesday has left one person dead.

Police received a call just before 10 a.m. reporting an explosion at a Siltech chemical plant in the area of 225 Wicksteed Avenue, near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East, in East York.

One patient has been pronounced dead on scene and another has been rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital in critical condition, acting Toronto Fire Chief Jim Jessop told reporters.

Multiple other patients suffered chemical burns and are currently being assessed, according to Toronto Fire.

The identity of the deceased has yet to be released.

"Our hazardous materials crews are now working with the owner in making sure that the situation is completely stabilized and mitigated," Jessop said. "As of right now, there is no risk to the public."

 Jessop said his team doesn't yet know what started the first.

 "Without question our crews were met with a significant chemical fire that took us a while to extinguish," he said.

"These types of fires are much more challenging than the normal types the public is used to because you have to pick a specific extinguishing agent to safely extinguish it and not make the situation worse."

Toronto Fire's crews were pulled from the building once the fire was extinguished, Jessop said.

"I suspect it will be a while before we get back into the building," he said, adding that, first, crews would need to ensure that chemicals are stabilized.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) has been notified of the explosion and says that an inspector has been assigned to the ongoing investigation.

Roads in the area are closed and Toronto Fire says they will be monitoring air quality and speed as this situation progresses.