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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.