2012-04-26

B.C. sawmill towns on edge over dust buildup that's suspect in two explosions

Workers heading to shifts at British Columbia sawmills after two recent, catastrophic explosions are worrying that the dust fluttering in the air like a sack of dropped flour means they're walking into a powder keg.

Four deaths and scores of traumatic burns and injuries have resulted from the fiery conflagrations at the north-central mills, which were processing trees so destroyed by the mountain pine beetle they were long dead before harvest.

The independent agency that looks after worker safety ordered Thursday that B.C.'s 300 or so mills immediately get a grip on any dust problems.