Bombardier didn't report Canada jet-fuel spill; cleanup continues

TORONTO Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:55am EDT

A security guard looks on at Bombardier's assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

A security guard looks on at Bombardier's assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, March 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Thursday it had spilled 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of kerosene in February at its Mirabel plant outside of Montreal in Quebec, but failed to report the accident with environment officials immediately.

"Everyone was focused on the decontamination and the process for filing the paper work did not happen immediately," spokeswoman Haley Dunne told Reuters.

The kerosene, used primarily for jet fuel, spilled into the ground as equipment malfunctioned when fuel was being transferred from one reservoir to another, Dunne said, adding that the Canadian plane and train manufacturer began the decontamination process immediately.

"The land has been dug up. We're now going through the process of checking to see if there's still contamination in the soil, so the clean up is well under way," said Dunne.

She said the clean-up process and report should be completed in the coming weeks.

Montreal-based Bombardier was reviewing its internal practices to ensure that such an oversight, attributed to a communication failure, does not happen again, Dunne said, and the company was in close contact with the Quebec province's environment ministry, the MDDEFP.

Bombardier's Mirabel site produces the company's brand new longer-range, single-aisle CSeries aircraft and the CRJ regional jet.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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