(Canadian OH&S News) — A 59-year-old worker has died following an industrial accident at the Teck Coal Mountain mine operation near Sparwood, British Columbia.
On March 16, truck driver Miles Lorenz was filling his truck with water when “he was impacted by frozen rock which fell from a separate vehicle,” the BC Coroners Service said in an information bulletin. Lorenz — a resident of Coleman, Alberta, a community in the southwest part of the province near the B.C. border — was transported to a hospital in Blairmore, Alta., but he could not be resuscitated.
Chad Pederson, manager of communications planning with Teck, confirmed that the accident occurred at about 2 a.m. and that no other employees were injured. No more information could be released as of press time.
“I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the employee’s family, the worker at Coal Mountain operations and the community,” said Bill Bennett, the Minister of Energy and Mines and an MLA for Kootenay East, in a statement.
The BC Coroners Service, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the BC RCMP continue to investigate the fatality.
Teck’s Resources Limited’s Coal Mountain operation is located 30 kilometres southeast of Sparwood in southeastern B.C. Comprised of approximately 3,000 hectares of coal lands, the mine and preparation plant produce about 2.7 and 3.5 million tonnes of clean coal, respectively, every year, the company said on its website.
The incident was the third industrial accident in as many days in British Columbia. On March 15, a journeyman lineman with McGregor Construction was working near Terrace on a transmission tower when he was injured. He later died from his injuries.
“BC Hydro will work with the contractor to cooperate fully with the investigation by WorkSafeBC and we will continue to offer any other support and assistance we can to the contractor and their employees,” said Greg Reimer, executive vice-president of transmission and distribution. “Although there was no immediate danger to any other crews onsite, construction on the line was stopped immediately out of respect for the employee.”
BC Hydro said in a statement that Valard and Burns & McDonald — the design-build contractor for the project — had contracted McGregor Construction to work on the Northwest Transmission Line, a new 344-kilometre, 287-kilovolt line under construction between the Skeena substation near Terrace and a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake.
On March 17, another worker died following an accident in Kelowna. The BC Coroners Service reported that Dejan Rasovic, 40, had been working on a dump truck at his residence at about 1:15 p.m, when he was fatally injured. No more details of the accident were available.