2012-05-02

WorkSafe BC has few answers 3 months after mill blast

A little more than three months after two men were killed in a sawmill explosion in Burns Lake, WorkSafe BC says that dust levels and processing of low quality beetle-killed wood are both possible factors in the blast.

The workplace safety body released an update on its investigation into the fatal blaze on Wednesday and said that since the Jan. 20 incident, investigators have interviewed more than 80 witnesses, including people who came forward as early as last week. While the probe is not yet complete, WorkSafe BC says it released the update to clear up any "misinformation" spreading in the wake of a second fatal sawmill blast that happened last week in Prince George.

Apart from sawdust accumulation and the type of wood being milled, the team says that production levels, ventilation and recent cold temperatures reaching as low as -41 C at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake are also being considered as possible factors.