Lakeland inquest to resume in May

The Coroner's inquest into the fatal explosion at Lakeland Mills will re-commence at the Prince George courthouse.

The Coroner’s inquest into the fatal explosion at Lakeland Mills will re-commence at the Prince George courthouse on May 11.

The inquest was adjourned on March 25 to allow counsel to review newly- uncovered documents relating to the 2012 explosion, in particular, an  investigation undertaken by the forensic engineering firm CASE Forensics at the request of lawyers for the mill’s owners.

When the inquest resumes, the lead investigator for CASE Forensics is expected to take the witness stand to testify regarding the investigation undertaken by his corporation. Other witnesses remaining to be called include several senior personnel from WorkSafeBC.

The inquest into the deaths of Allan Little and Glenn Roche had been sitting for 18 days and had heard from 47 witnesses when inquest counsel John M. Orr, QC, told the proceeding he had no choice but to ask for the adjournment to ensure that the newly-disclosed material could be properly canvassed.

Last week the United Steelworkers (USW) withdrew from the coroner’s inquest into the explosion at Lakeland Mills in Prince George.

United Steelworkers district three director Stephen Hunt said the union has lost confidence that the inquest will answer the many outstanding questions that remain.

Proceedings into an explosion at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake will get underway on July 13, 2015.