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Nine killed in Giant Mine explosion

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Tragedy has struck in Yellowknife. An explosion at the Giant Gold Mine killed nine workers today and the circumstances are suspicious, say police. All the men killed were either replacement workers or employees who had crossed the picket line in a very bitter, violent labour strike that has been going on for the past four months. The RCMP is launching a criminal investigation. "This is one disaster police are convinced is not natural," says CBC-TV host Knowlton Nash in this 1992 report.
• In 1995, a man named Roger Warren -- a Giant Gold Mine employee who had been on strike in 1992 -- was convicted of nine counts of second-degree murder for planting the bomb that killed the victims. He was given a life sentence with no chance for parole for 20 years. • In 2002, Maclean's magazine wrote a follow-up story called "Giant Mine Murders: 10 years later." The article explained that residents were still being affected by the events of 1992: "The wounds left by the 18-month strike-lockout, the killings, and the fallout from one of the largest murder investigations in RCMP history, have yet to heal. There are still some people in town who cross the street to avoid each other."

• The widows of the men killed filed a civil suit seeking compensation for their losses. They were looking for compensation from the security firm that had been hired to protect the site during the strike, the unions involved for inciting violence, and the Northwest Territories government for not shutting down the site when escalating violence became obvious. In 2004, the N.W.T. Supreme Court ruled that these parties did share responsibility and ordered the defendants to pay $10.7 million in damages. That ruling was overturned in February 2010 by the Supreme Court of Canada, however.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Sept. 18, 1992
Guest(s): Dennis Clark, Harold David, Lynn Olenek, John Smrke
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Eric Sorensen
Duration: 4:36

Last updated: June 18, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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