August 6, 2014 7:14 pm

B.C. coroner to hold single inquest on mill blasts

VICTORIA – 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.

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 BC Coroners Service says 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.

Robert Luggi Jr. and Carl Charlie were killed in the Burns Lake explosion in January 2012 and just a few months later, Alan Little and Glenn Roche died in the Lakeland mill blast.

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.

The inquest will be held in Prince George, B.C., staring March 2 next year.

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