Lakeland inquest concludes with 33 recommendations

Jury ruled the deaths of two workers to be accidental.

A coroner’s jury has made 33 recommendations aimed at preventing future tragedies like the explosion that rocked the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George in 2012, killing two workers.

After deliberating for approximately eight hours, the five-person jury ruled the deaths of Glenn Roche and Allan Little to be accidental. A death classified as accidental is one due to unintentional or unexpected injury.

The recommendations are directed to a wide variety of agencies including WorkSafeBC, the RCMP, the Steelworkers Union, the mill owners, and the ministries of Justice and of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

Presiding Coroner Lisa Lapointe and the jury heard from 54 witnesses over the course of 21 days, beginning on March 2, 2015.

The full jury’s findings and recommendations can be found at http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/coroners/schedule/archive/2015/docs/jury-findings-little-alan-harvey-and-roche-glenn-francis.pdf

A separate inquest will be held in Burns Lake to examine the circumstances of the deaths that occurred in the explosion at the Babine Forest Products sawmill.

Robert Luggi Jr., 45, and Carl Charlie, 42, were killed in the explosion of Jan. 20, 2012, in Burns Lake.

The Burns Lake community has argued eloquently that it has a powerful interest in hearing first-hand the information about the explosion.

The inquest into the Babine Forest Products mill deaths will begin July 13, 2015, at the Island Gospel Fellowship Hall in Burns Lake. Presiding over that inquest will be Chico Newell, Resource Industry Coroner for the B.C. Coroners Service.

Lapointe said it is a long-held tenet of the B.C. Coroners Service to conduct its investigations and hold inquests to assure communities that the deaths of not one of their members will be concealed, overlooked or ignored.

 

Burns Lake Lakes District News