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Inquest hears from two survivors of mill blast

A coroner’s inquest has heard from two workers that survived the deadly Babine Forest Products mill explosion near Burns Lake in January, 2012
Nick Erickson told jurors that mill workers were afraid to bring up safety concerns with management for fear that they would be passed over for future promotions.
He said clean up crews were often assigned production positions to ensure production didn’t stop during coffee or lunch breaks, leaving them with not enough time for actual housekeeping.
Erickson was particularly close with Robert Luggi, calling him his mentor while Carl Charlie was his cousin.  Both men died in the explosion.
The inquest then heard from Vinh Nguyen.
He was working as mill security and as a watchman during the explosion.
The inquest heard how it would take him 15-20 minutes to check each fire station if the fire alarm was tripped.
Even though fire safety was one of his responsibilities, Nguyen says he wasn’t told the cause of the February 2011 fire at the mill which shut it down for about a month.
He didn’t receive training on fire codes or regulations either.
Nguyen was in the mill basement the night of the explosion and suffered first and second degree burns.
When asked how he’s doing now, he paused for a long time and then finally told the inquest he’s physically fine.

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