NEWS

Explosion anniversary marked in B.C. memorial

01/20/2013 05:16 EST | Updated 03/22/2013 05:12 EDT
A memorial was held in Burns Lake, B.C. Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the lumber mill explosion in the town that killed two people and injured 20.

A year later, the Babine Forest Products sawmill might be gone, but the pain and memories are still vivid for the small town of just under 3,000 people.

“The lights went out, a fireball came up, and the roof came down. All I could think about was, 'get out,’” said mill worker Syd Neville, describing the explosion just days after the Jan. 20, 2012, tragedy.

The northern B.C. community is still in a state of grief, said Karen Ogen, Chief of We'su'wet'en First Nation, who was to both of the men who died.

"We've had to find ways to come together and support one another,” Ogen said. “Just find ways to recover from all this. It's been a long tough year.”

Ogen said emotions are still raw and many are dealing with feelings of anger and uncertainty, still not knowing exactly what happened.

“You know, I think hinging on this memorial, it's just bringing a lot of emotion up. We're still in recovery mode.”

The company that owns Babine Forest products said in December that it will rebuild the mill.

Construction is to begin this year, with the plant up and running by 2014, the company said.

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