Representatives from Ottawa's Catholic school board were in court briefly Thursday on charges related to an explosion that killed one student last May.

Grade 12 student Eric Leighton, 18, died after attempting to cut open an oil drum May 26, 2011. The metal drum exploded in a shop class at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School.

The court adjourned Thursday and will meet again on April 26.


Patrick Leighton said precautions needed to be taken at the school before his son had cut into an empty oil drum. (CBC)

Leighton's father continues to grieve the loss of his son. But he said the charges, which fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and carry a maximum $500,000 fine, do help that process.

"I'm glad it's come forward now and it shows that negligence and the type of accident that happened could have been avoided just with some proper training," Patrick Leighton said.

The exact charges, which have not been proven in court, are as follows:

  • Failing to provide information, instruction and supervision.
  • Failing to take the reasonable precaution to protect the workplace.
  • Failing to make sure the student and supervisor were familiar with the dangers of performing hot work on drums or containers.

Four others were injured in the shop class explosion, which also led to charges under Ontario's fire code.

Cutting and welding are also now banned at the high school.