VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A worker at a British Columbia sawmill was killed and 23 others were injured when the plant burst into flames on Monday night in the second deadly mill fire in the Western Canadian province this year.
The cause of the explosion at the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George, 750 km (469 miles) north of Vancouver, has yet to be determined, Barb McLintock, a spokeswoman for the provincial coroner’s office, said on Tuesday.
The mill, owned by closely held Sinclair Group Forest Products, would have to cool down for 24 to 48 hours before investigators could enter, she said.
The deceased worker, who died later in hospital, was one of 24 who were working in the sawmill when “it exploded in a giant fireball shortly before 9:45 p.m.,” the coroner’s office said in a statement.
“Everyone did make it out of the mill. No one is missing,” McLintock said.
In January two workers were killed when an explosion ripped through a sawmill at Burns Lake, a remote community 230 km west of Prince George. Safety officials are still investigating the cause of that blast.
Forestry is British Columbia’s largest single source of exports, one of its biggest manufacturing sectors and a major employer in the province.
Reporting By Nicole Mordant