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No pleas entered as Irving Oil refinery explosion case put over to next year

Click to play video: 'Irving Oil in court on charges for the explosion and fire at Saint John refinery' Irving Oil in court on charges for the explosion and fire at Saint John refinery
WATCH: Irving Oil was in court on charges that stem from an explosion and fire at the Saint John Refinery in 2018. As Andrew Cromwell reports, the company is facing charges under the occupational health and safety act. – Nov 5, 2019

The case against Irving Oil, which has been charged in relation to last October’s explosion at the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John, N.B., has been adjourned until the new year.

On Tuesday, Matthew Hayes, a lawyer representing the company, told court he had recently received a disclosure from the Crown and asked that the matter be held over. Judge Henrik Tonning set the matter to resume on Feb. 20, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

Hayes did not speak to reporters when leaving the courthouse.

READ MORE: ‘We’re very grateful’ — No serious injuries following explosion at Saint John refinery

Irving Oil is charged with three offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The first charge, filed against Irving Oil Company Limited, accuses the owner of the facility of failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of any person having access to or using that place of employment.

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The other two charges involve the employer, listed as Irving Oil Refinery GP, which is accused of failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of employees. Irving Oil Refinery GP is also charged with failing to ensure that piping and apparatus for hazardous substances is maintained in safe operating condition and regularly inspected.

Irving Oil was initially charged almost one year to the day after the blast, which took place on Thanksgiving on Oct. 8, 2018, when an explosion rocked the city’s east side, sending flames and plumes of thick black some billowing into the air.

No one was killed in the incident, but a number of people were treated for what were described at the time as non-life-threatening injuries.

READ MORE: Irving Oil charged a year after refinery explosion in Saint John

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An exact cause of the blast has still not been made public. At the time, Irving Oil officials said it had originated in a diesel processing portion of the facility during an annual maintenance period.

At the time of the explosion, there were as many as 3,000 workers at the site.

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