PRINCE GEORGE, BC – Detection of high methane gas led to the shutdown last week of the Lakeland Mills sawmill, scene of the April 24 explosion and fire that killed two workers and injured two dozen more.

BC Sawmill Shut Down Due to High Methane LevelsPlaner operations had recently commenced at the mill to process wood inventories. Twenty-eight workers were brought back for what was expected to be a six-week assignment.

The company issued a brief statement saying, “Lakeland Mills has temporarily closed its planer mill and shut down its district energy system as a precautionary measure. The action was taken as a result of monitoring that found unusually high levels of methane gas at the Lakeland Mills site.”

The Lakeland Mills explosion followed one three months earlier at Babine Forest Products that also killed two workers and injured more than 20 others.

WorkSafeBC issued a directive order to all sawmill employers on April 26, 2012. Among other mandates, the directive ordered saw mill operations to clean up wood dust. As a follow up, WorkSafeBC inspectors have visited more than 150 sawmill locations to ensure they are in compliance.

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