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Moment of remembrance planned for Kelowna crane collapse victims

FILE. A section (left) of the vertical column of a construction crane is lowered past the mangled section of the fallen boom in Kelowna, B.C., Wednesday, July 14, 2021, following a fatal collapse of the crane. CANADIAN PRESS/Desmond Murray

Kelowna residents may hear five air horn blasts on July 12, at 11 a.m., in remembrance of the crane collapse that took the lives of five people.

A moment of silence will follow.

In a statement, Mission Group said it will be stopping work on all its construction sites from 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., in remembrance of the crane collapse at the St. Paul Street construction site a year earlier that killed brothers Eric and Patrick Stemmer, Jared Zook, Cailen Vilness and Brad Zawislak.

Read more: New cranes being erected at site of fatal crane collapse in Kelowna

“While this will be a private recognition for our crews to remember their colleagues, we have invited family members to join us at the memorial plaque installed where the crane once stood to spend private time remembering their loved ones,” the statement from Mission Group reads.

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Earlier this year, Mission Group placed a memorial plaque on the site where the crane once stood, dedicated to the victims of the July 12, 2021, crane accident.

Click to play video: 'Remembering one of the victims of the Kelowna crane collapse'
Remembering one of the victims of the Kelowna crane collapse

In addition, Mission Group said it is working with the families of the victims and other community partners to create a memorial for the five men who died in the crane collapse.

A public installation will be planned at a later date.

Given the impact of this incident on Kelowna and the industry, they said they would like to invite neighbouring builders in Kelowna with on-site cranes to join them with the same recognition on their sites on July 12 at 11 a.m.

Click to play video: '2021: Year end review, crane collapse kills five men, shocks city'
2021: Year end review, crane collapse kills five men, shocks city

According to the North Okanagan Labour Council (NOLC) there were 161 work-related deaths in B.C. in 2021, including eight in the region. That’s 10 more deaths than the year before.

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And on Thursday, July 7, the NOLC sent out a press release, inviting all affiliates and the community at large to an hour of remembrance on July 12 to commemorate the five who died.

The NOLC said the memorial ceremony will take place at the intersection of Bernard and St. Paul streets, and will commence at 10 a.m.

The NOLC said mayor Colin Basran, members of Kelowna city council, WorkSafeBC and other dignitaries will be speaking.

More information about the crane memorial can be found on the NOLC’s website and Facebook page.

Read more: WorkSafeBC investigating near-miss crane incident in Kelowna, B.C.

WorkSafe BC has not yet released any details in the investigation into the crane collapse.

In an earlier statement, WorkSafeBC said it is working with subject-matter experts and engineers to examine the crane components, sequence of events and work procedures that took place during the dismantling process.

WorkSafeBC also said the purpose of the investigation “is to identify the cause of the incident, including any contributing factors, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future.”

Read more: Construction union calls for mandatory training in wake of Kelowna crane tragedy

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