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Third person dies after explosion at plant in Sherbrooke, Que.

The scene outside Neptune Technologies & Bioressources is shown in Sherbrooke, Que., Friday, November 9, 2012 following an explosion at the plant on Thursday that left two people dead and many more with serious injuries.


A third person died over the weekend from injuries related to a powerful explosion at a plant in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

Marc Couture, a worker at the plant, died at a Montreal hospital on Sat urday evening.

Sylvie Robitaille, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Mr. Couture suffered burns on 90 per cent of his body and was in an induced coma.

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"He was in a very critical state," she said.

The bodies of two other people were found in the ruins of the plant.

Ms. Robitaille said three people were still in hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Eighteen people were injured in total.

The explosion happened Thursday at a factory belonging to Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc., in Sherbrooke, Que.

It's still unclear what caused the fire.

The company issued a statement Sunday offering its condolences and promised to provide an update on the situation on Monday.

The explosion and fire in Sherbrooke, prompted the city to lower flags to half-mast.

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The huge explosion, which could be heard for kilometres, was followed by a series of smaller blasts and a fire, which destroyed a production plant belonging to Neptune. Amid the wreckage, a terrified survivor was found later, hiding in the rubble.

The company produces health products, such as Omega-3, derived from marine life. Company shares plunged more than 10 per cent and trading was halted after Thursday's explosion.

Authorities were continuing to investigate three major fires that erupted within a single day in Quebec.

A smaller incident occurred hours after the Neptune blast at a Bombardier Recreational Products complex also in the Eastern Townships.

Two people there sustained serious burns.

The BRP facility produces Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo jet skis and Can-Am all-terrain vehicles. It is located about 40 kilometres west of Sherbrooke, where the massive blast occurred.

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Meanwhile, an investigation into a spectacular Montreal blaze was being transferred to the local police. Nobody was injured in that fire, which occurred in an unfinished condo project in Old Montreal. But flames lit up the nighttime sky and could be seen jumping above the rooftops in the city's historic quarter, visible even from across the river on the city's south shore.

Police played down their role in the investigation. They said their involvement was a routine matter, prompted by the fact that a cause had not yet been determined.

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