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BC Coroners Service schedules public inquest into Burns Lake sawmill deaths

The BC Coroners Service is calling for a public inquest into the deaths of two workers when an explosion ripped through the Babine Forest Products sawmill near Burns Lake in January 2012.

The explosion killed Robert Luggi Jr., aged 45, and Carl Charlie, aged 42.

Fire from the explosion engulfed the sawmill shortly after 8 p.m., injuring 20  other workers.

Earlier this month Crown counsel announced that no criminal or regulatory charges will be approved in relation to the explosion and fire.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said that after reviewing the investigations to date in the case, she has concluded there is benefit to holding an inquest to publicly examine the circumstances of the incident with the goal of preventing future deaths in similar circumstances.

An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death.

During the inquest, presiding coroner Chico Newell and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding these deaths. An inquest jury may not, by law, make any findings of fault or legal responsibility; however, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations related to the evidence presented.

The dates and location of the inquest will be announced once confirmed.