Explosion Cuts Krill Supply, Kills Three

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada—A horrible disaster struck a production plant owned by Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (maker of Neptune Krill Oil [NKO]) on the afternoon of November 8. An explosion and fire reduced the production facility to rubble, killing three workers. At least 18 others were injured, some with severe burns. An adjacent Neptune facility sustained limited damage.

Investigators are searching for the cause of the explosion and the massive blaze that ensued, but preliminary reports suggest that some of the acetone reserves used for krill oil extraction could have played a role.

Neptune is now focused on helping employees and their families through this tragedy. The firm has established counseling services for employees and set up a fund to help victims and their loved ones. In an official statement, Henri Harland, CEO and president of Neptune, stated "Our hearts are greatly traumatized by this horrible catastrophe that will remain in our minds forever. Our thoughts are with our colleagues and their families."

As for its inventory of krill oil, all Neptune's product was destroyed in the fire. The company is determining how to resume production and satisfy client needs, though operations are ceased at present.

The company's stock price has plummeted since the explosion.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online (11/13/12)