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Canada – Three Hospitalized After Factory Chemical Leak

varennes-kronos-chemical-leakThree people have been taken to hospital after a chemical spill at a factory Saturday in Varennes, Que., near Montreal, according to Environment Minister David Heurtel.

Police said five tons of the potentially-toxic substance titanium tetrachloride leaked into the air at the Kronos Canada Inc. plant which produces pigments.

The leak prompted the evacuation of 15 homes and three nearby factories.

Firefighters, police and officials with the Quebec environmental emergency agency were dispatched to the scene.

The substance can produce toxic hydrogen chloride gas when heated, agency spokesman Christian Blanchette said.

Dr. Éric Levac said that only people in contact with a large concentration of the gas can be affected by the leak.

“People may experience itchy eyes and throat. But there is no danger outside the security perimeter,” he said.

Varennes is 30 km east of Montreal.

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