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Pat Stamp says he found not guilty pleas in the Kometik case to be 'very upsetting.' ((CBC))

ASt. John's shipping company and three officials have pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges laid after a fatal 2006 explosion aboard a docked oil tanker.

Deckhand Wayne Dalton was killed in April 2006 when fumes ignited aboard the MV Kometik, which had been docked for maintenance in Conception Bay, near St. John's.

Canship Ugland and the ship's captain, engineer and superintendent are together facing about 60 breaches of safety regulations.

Not guilty pleas were entered in provincial court in St. John's on Thursday.

Pat Stamp, a welder who survived inferno-like conditions aboard the tanker but whose face and body are disfigured from severe burns, told CBC News he was disturbed to hear the pleas.

"It was like a belt in the guts again, and reliving the scene all over with the emotions," said Stamp, describing the plea as "very upsetting."

"To plead not guilty to everything, there's something wrong. I don't understand," said Stamp.

Stamp had hoped that the Kometik matter would be settled in court by now. Instead, proceedings are just beginning. Crown and defence lawyers are expected to return to court in November to set trial dates.

"We went aboard a ship that was supposed to be [safe] … and we ended up with a life lost and one destroyed."