Task force investigating AIM fire to release report this month

An investigation into an industrial fire that broke out earlier this fall at a Saint John recycling plant is expected to wrap up by the end of November, provincial officials said.

Fire broke out shortly after 1:45 a.m. on Sept. 14 at the American Iron and Metal (AIM) facility in the port of Saint John, causing plumes of smoke to fill the skies over the city’s uptown.

It led to Premier Blaine Higgs calling on the company to suspend its operations while a provincially-appointed task force conducts a full investigation.

In a news release issued by the province on Friday, the task force met again over the course of last week.

“Its investigation is nearing conclusion and the task force’s report is expected to be released near the end of the month,” officials said.

During an update provided by the task force in October, a report from AIM suggested officials still hadn’t determined what caused the fire.

The report said the fire caused no casualties, noting safety measures have been put in place while the task force investigates.

“AIM will be diverting material to other locations; we will not be receiving at the Gateway facility until [provincial] approval,” said AIM Environment Director Ann Marcotte in the October report.

“AIM will not be shredding material. We will, however, be continuing maintenance on the shredder. The shredder will be turned on as part of maintenance, but no material will be processed.”

The province confirmed Friday that AIM’s approval to operate remains suspended as the investigation continues.

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