Explosion rocks Babine Forest Product Mill near Burns Lake
An explosion rocked the Babine Forest Product Mill near Burns Lake sending more than 30 workers on shift scrambling for safety.
CBC reports that 19 workers were injured and two are still missing, although some media are reporting of possible fatalities. There were 30 workers on shift at the time of the explosion.
At approximately 8:15 pm Burns Lake RCMP responded to the report of an explosion at the Mill about 200 kilometers west of Prince George.
Emergency resources including the Burns Lake Fire Department, BC Ambulance, and the Burns Lake RCMP were immediately called to the scene.
Given the nature and scale of the event, emergency resources from the neighbouring communities of Fraser Lake, Houston, and Vanderhoof attended the incident.
When emergency crews arrived efforts began immediately to fight the fire, evacuate the workers, and transport the injured to hospital for treatment.
Northern Health is coordinating all medical care and assistance.
“This is a tragic loss for the community not only because individuals have been injured but it was a key employer for the area”, said S/Sgt Grant Macdonald the Burns Lake RCMP Detachment Commander. “
The response from the community and assistance from neighbouring RCMP detachments, fire halls and health services has been vital”.
The fire has since been contained, however it is still burning. The area has been secured and efforts continue to determine if anyone is unaccounted for.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner and Work Safe BC are on site and are working with emergency crews who are also battling blizzard type conditions.
RCMP are asking the public to avoid the area as road conditions are extremely dangerous and current efforts are focused on the fire.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time and is still under investigation.