March 14, 2018 5:04 pm
Updated: March 14, 2018 5:08 pm

Nexen Energy pleads not guilty to charges related to fatal Alberta oilsands explosion

Explosion site at Nexen's Long Lake facility. Half of a building's roof and wall blown off.

Global News
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Nexen Energy has pleaded not guilty to eight charges related to a deadly explosion at its Long Lake facility more than two years ago.

The explosion happened in January 2016 at the facility near Anzac, Alta. The blast occurred inside a building in the compressed gas area of the facility as workers were changing out valves on a compressor.

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READ MORE: ‘Dark day’ for Nexen after fatal explosion at oilsands site near Fort McMurray

Drew Foster, 52, was killed in the blast. His co-worker Dave Williams, 30, died in hospital about 10 days after the explosion.

In July 2016, Nexen executives said the cause of the explosion was the employees themselves.

READ MORE: Employees caused Nexen Long Lake explosion, company executives say

Ron Bailey, senior vice-president of Canadian operations, said Williams and Foster were working outside the scope of their approved work activities when the explosion happened.

Nexen was charged in December with the following offences:

  • Two counts of failure to ensure the health and safety of a worker
  • Two counts of failure to ensure all workers were familiar with implemented procedures and measures implemented at the work site
  • Four counts of failure to ensure equipment was serviced, maintained, repaired or dismantled in accordance with specifications by a certified engineer or the manufacturer

A trial date is to be set in Fort McMurray court on May 16.

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