BRITISH COLUMBIA

Burns Lake Sawmill Speaks Out About Deadly Explosion

01/22/2014 05:30 EST | Updated 03/24/2014 05:59 EDT
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BURNS LAKE, B.C. - The company that owns a British Columbia sawmill destroyed by an explosion and fire in January 2012 says there was no way for it to have known about the hazards linked to combustible sawdust.

Babine Forest Products says it has decided to speak out about two reports issued last week by WorkSafeBC and the BC Safety Authority that examined the explosion that killed two men and injured 20 workers.

Those reports concluded, in part, that the tragedy was preventable.

But Babine Forest Products says before the incident, nobody in the sawmilling industry knew that drier and finer sawdust from beetle-killed wood could be a highly explosive fuel.

The company says the Crown also decided not to lay charges, because it concluded the mill had exercised due diligence in managing foreseeable risks.

The Crown announced last week it would not pursue charges partly because of a flawed investigation, a decision that led Premier Christy Clark to assign her deputy minister to look into the case.

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