10/04/2013 07:20 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Craigmont Mine Accident: No Charges After Worker Drowned

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Criminal Justice Branch says it will not approve charges against the operators of a mine where an employee drowned more than five years ago.

John Wilson died Feb. 28, 2008 at the Craigmont Mine near Merritt, B.C., when the excavator he was operating overturned in a sump filled with water.

Starting Oct. 30, 2009, the Criminal Justice Branch and police passed the file back and forth, and three senior prosecutors reviewed the documents.

The branch says that based on evidence submitted by the RCMP, prosecutors would be unable to prove a breach of duty, a wanton or reckless disregard for life or safety, or any breach contributed to Wilson's death.

As a result, it says there is not a substantial likelihood of conviction against the mine, a manger or a supervisor.

The branch says the Workers Compensation Act does not apply to mines, and the six-month time limit for charges under the Mines Act has expired.

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