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Father of 4 identified as worker killed at Trans Mountain pipeline site in west Edmonton

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WATCH ABOVE: A father of four has been identified as the worker who was hit and killed by a piece of equipment at a Trans Mountain work site in Edmonton. Sarah Komadina has more – Oct 28, 2020

The man killed on the job at a west Edmonton construction site is being remembered by family as a loving husband and father.

Samatar Sahal was fatally hit by a piece of equipment while working at a Trans Mountain pipeline site on the northwestern corner of the intersection between Whitemud Drive and Winterburn Road/215 Street.

The 40-year-old leaves behind a wife and four young children: the eldest is eight and the youngest just a two-month-old newborn.

Friends and family gathered to mourn Samatar Sahal, who was killed while working at a Trans Mountain pipeline site in west Edmonton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
Friends and family gathered to mourn Samatar Sahal, who was killed while working at a Trans Mountain pipeline site in west Edmonton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Morris Gamblin, Global News

While gathered at the work site to grieve and pray on Wednesday, Sahal’s family said he had a special bond with his kids and he was “an amazing father.”

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“We’re not here to point any fingers, we’re not here to say anything destructive was done to him on purpose,” his niece Hani Abdi said. “Obviously his time and his calling was here.

“We’re just here to pray and to ask for God to bless him.”

Several dozen people gathered at the work site, where Abdi said they’re in shock and disbelief.

“You get to leave every morning and your expecting that same person to come back [home.] For him not to be able to come back — it’s something that you don’t want to happen to anybody. It’s something that you can’t fathom.”

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He had worked in construction for many years, according to a GoFundMe raising money to cover funeral expenses and help support the young family. A service for Sahal will be held on Thursday.

Samatar Sahal was killed while working at a Trans Mountain pipeline site in west Edmonton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
Samatar Sahal was killed while working at a Trans Mountain pipeline site in west Edmonton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Supplied

Read more: Worker killed at Trans Mountain pipeline job site in west Edmonton

The workplace incident happened Tuesday afternoon, where a CAT pipelayer machine and a tarp on the ground were taped off.

SA Energy is the contractor leading the pipeline expansion work in the Edmonton region. The company released a statement saying it was deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of its workers.

“Our prayers and sympathies are with our employee’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” the SA Energy statement read in part.

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Trans Mountain also released a statement saying the company was “deeply saddened” by the death.

“This is a tragic incident and I know that staff and contractors at both SA Energy and Trans Mountain join me in extending our deepest sympathies to the worker’s family,” said Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain.

Emergency crews were called to a workplace incident near Winterburn Road and Whitemud Drive in west Edmonton on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
Emergency crews were called to a workplace incident near Winterburn Road and Whitemud Drive in west Edmonton on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Global News

Both SA Energy and Trans Mountain said work at the construction site was immediately stopped and all appropriate authorities were notified, including Alberta Occupational Health and Safety.

A spokesperson with the government ministry responsible for OHS investigations confirmed it was investigating.

Edmonton police said officers did respond to the scene to make sure the death wasn’t suspicious, but deferred to OHS because a workplace was involved.

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The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is designed to triple the capacity of the existing 1950s-era pipeline between Edmonton and a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C., to about 890,000 barrels per day of products including diluted bitumen, lighter crudes and refined fuels such as gasoline.

Construction in the Edmonton region has been ongoing for about a year.

Read more: Trans Mountain pipeline: A look at key dates in the history of the project