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New evidence in Lakeland Mills inquest

A coroner’s inquest into a deadly blast at a Prince George, BC, sawmill will hear evidence from an investigation ordered by the facility’s lawyers.

The BC Coroners Service says the post-explosion probe was done by a forensic engineering firm on behalf of Lakeland Mills and was recently revealed during witness questioning.

Coroner Lisa Lapointe asked the mill’s lawyers last week to allow jurors to hear the evidence.

The Ministry of Justice says Lakeland’s counsel has now agreed, so the inquest will see the documents and possibly hear witness testimony from the firm commissioned in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers union that represents the mill’s employees has pulled out of the inquest, saying it has lost confidence that its outstanding questions will be answered.

A jury is examining an April 2012 blast that killed two workers, three months after a similar explosion at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake.

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