At approximately 8:00 am. this morning, Oct. 9, 2014, a fire related incident occurred at the Pinnacle Pellet plant in the Burns Lake facility resulting in minor injuries to two employees and more serious, but not critical injuries to a third employee.
WorkSafeBC has been notified and the affected area of the plant has been secured to allow for a full investigation.
At the time of the incident, the plant was in a maintenance shutdown. The fire was quickly contained and there are no reports of equipment damage. Lakes District News will update this story as more reports come in.
Scott McCloy from WorksafeBC said, “WorkSafeBC Prevention officers arrived on scene at about noon. They will be working to determine what happened and why it happened. WorkSafeBC officers are coordinating with the RCMP and other regulatory bodies, including the BC Safety Authority, in this regard. At this point, it is difficult to determine how long it will take to determine the cause, but our hope is to determine the cause quickly. It is my understanding that the three workers were in the dryer area at the time of the incident. We have not at this point determined whether there was an explosion or a fire.”
WorkSafeBC last inspected this mill on June 17, 2014. At the time of that inspection it was determined that combustible dust issues were being managed. The mill has not been inspected since that time. However, WorkSafeBC launched another combustible dust effort related to the pellet industry on October 1 and the Burns Lake facility is on the schedule to be inspected.
Three workers were transported to Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre. Two patients with minor injuries are being transferred to the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George and one patient is being transferred to Vancouver.