RICHMOND, BC - WorkSafeBC investigators assigned to the Jan. 20 explosion that destroyed the sawmill, killed two workers and injured many others at Babine Forest Products of Burns Lake, BC, vacated the premises last week after completing phase one of their ongoing probe.

Up to 20 investigators of the independent provincial government agency, aided by cranes and other heavy equipment, sifted through debris to gather evidence. The safety agency also said it interviewed more than 80 witnesses, including mill employees, the employer and anyone else with pertinent information about the explosion.

Jeff Dolan, director of investigations for WorkSafeBC, said, “Our focus now will be on the testing and analysis of the evidence we gathered over the past 12 weeks.”

WorkSafeBC said it will likely take several more months to conclude the Babine Forest Products probe and hopefully determine what caused the accident.


The Babine Forest Products mill is located in a remote area of British Columbia, more than 600 miles north of Vancouver. It is a joint venture operated in conjunction with the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation of Burns Lake. The mill has an annual production capacity of 350 MMBF and produces studs and framing lumber from spruce, pine and fir.

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