BC sawmill fire blows out quickly

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Several workers at the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George, B.C. were rushed to hospitals Monday night after a sudden blast. Reportedly, 44 staff members were working when the explosion was heard.

According to Northern Health authority spokesman Steve Raper, twenty-five of the injured men were carried to nearby hospitals while four had to be airlifted to Vancouver and Edmonton. A few workers had life threatening burns.

“We’re devastated by the news of this incident and our thoughts are with our employees and their families,” Sinclair president Greg Stewart said.

Brian Croy, first vice-president of the United Steelworkers Local 1-424, was inside the factory’s lunchroom when the explosion hit.

On Tuesday, he said: “There was no warning, no nothing. All of a sudden there was a flash, next thing you know there was a boom. By the time we got out, the sirens were going and the fire trucks had already arrived.”

RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass says the fire is extinguishing faster than expected; however, it can take up to 24 hours to completely wash out. RCMP is still looking into the site to find out the cause. The police will be questioning people who live or work nearby to get a clearer picture.

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