Thirty-nine-year-old man killed at work site north of Pemberton 

Second employee left with serious injuries after work site explosion

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO SUBMITTED - INVESTIGATION ONGOING Whistler and Pemberton RCMP are on the scene of a worksite incident at the Upper-Lillooet Hydro Project north of Pemberton.
  • File photo submitted
  • INVESTIGATION ONGOING Whistler and Pemberton RCMP are on the scene of a worksite incident at the Upper-Lillooet Hydro Project north of Pemberton.

A 39-year-old man is dead after an industrial accident at the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project north of Pemberton.

Whistler and Pemberton RCMP were called to the scene — about 50 kilometres northwest of Pemberton near Pebble Creek Hot Springs — just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

"We received a report that there had been an explosion at the worksite," said Sgt. Rob Knapton of the Whistler RCMP, in a release.

"The incident occurred when workers were handling explosives, killing a 39-year-old male working at the site."

A second employee was transported to the Lower Mainland with serious injuries.

"We are shocked and saddened by what has happened, and first of all, our thoughts and prayers are going out to the families of the workers involved," said Bas Brusche, director of public affairs for Innergex, the independent power producer in charge of the project.

"We’re still in the early process of investigating what exactly has happened and why it could have occurred and we don’t have the answers yet," Brusche said, adding that Innergex is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Details about the incident and the workers involved are scarce at this point, but Brusche confirmed they are employed by Quebec-based company CRT-EBC — one of the main contractors on the project.

Late in the afternoon on Thursday, CRT-EBC issued a release of its own.

“This is a terrible and tragic loss for us and all of our employees, here and across the country. We join with our employees in sending our sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased,” said Serge Moalli, project director for the CRT-EBC, in the release.

“Safety is a top priority on this work site and for CRT-EBC Construction. We are cooperating fully with the authorities to determine how this tragic incident occurred."

In a follow-up phone call, Knapton confirmed that RCMP are currently on scene and have enlisted the assistance of Sea to Sky GIS, as well as the provincial explosives disposal unit. They are investigating the incident along with WorkSafe BC and the BC Coroner Service.

Check back with Pique in the coming days for more on this story.

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