Deadly Babine, Lakeland sawmill explosions to be probed at inquest
Inquest to probe blasts at Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake, B.C. and Lakeland mill in Prince George
B.C.'s Coroners Service has announced it will hold a single public inquest into the deaths of four sawmill workers who
died in separate explosions in 2012.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe will preside over the inquest looking into the blasts at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake and the Lakeland mill in Prince George.
Robert Luggi Jr. and Carl Charlie were killed and 19 others injured when the Burns Lake mill exploded in January 2012.
Three months later, the explosion at the Lakeland Mills facility killed Alan Little and Glenn Roche and injured 24 people.
The explosions were partly blamed on an accumulation of wood dust, but no charges were ever laid because the Crown had concerns that the evidence collected by WorkSafeBC wouldn't be admissible in court.
- BABINE | No charges in deadly Burns Lake sawmill explosion
- LAKELAND | No charges in 2nd deadly sawmill blast leads to WorkSafeBC overhaul
Lapointe says the decision to hold the single inquest was made after reviewing the information surrounding the deaths and a careful examination of the issues common to both explosions.
The B.C. Coroners Service said in a statement that the single proceeding will allow for the most effective examination of key questions and provide the best opportunity for a jury to consider recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.
The inquest will be held net year in Prince George, B.C., starting March 2.