NEWS
04/03/2014 03:27 EDT | Updated 06/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Babine Forest Products to be fined $1M for explosion, says NDP

The owners of the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake, B.C. are about to be hit with a fine of nearly $1 million  for a fatal explosion at the mill in 2012, according B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix.

The revelation comes after the Criminal Justice Branch announced it wasn't proceeding with criminal charges against the owners because of mistakes made by WorkSafeBC during their investigation.

Two workers were killed and 19 others injured when the Burns Lake mill exploded back in January 2012. The explosion was been blamed on dangerous levels of wood dust from mountain pine beetle killed trees.

Dix says he's learned that later today WorkSafeBC will announce the fine, which alleges mill operators should have taken steps to deal with the wood dust problem before the explosion.

But Dix says the fine doesn't send the right message, because most of that money is WorkSafeBC recovering the costs of its lengthy investigation.

Dix says from his calculation, the punishment aspect of the fine will only amount to about $100,000.             

The NDP has been calling for a full public inquiry into the blast - but government has so far refused.

               

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