The Coroner’s Inquest in explosion of Babine Forest Products opened today. The January 2012 fire claimed the lives of Robert Luggi and Carl Charlie and injured 19 others.
Around 80 people filled the Island Gospel Fellowship Church gymnasium to hear from this mornings witnesses.
Luggi’s widow, Maureen, spoke of her husband, describing him as a hard worker, who will be remembered for his humour and kindness. She said he was a person that cheered up co-workers and loved to do Christmas shopping for his children and grand-children.
Maureen said Robert experienced discrimination in the workplace and filed grievances through the BC Human Rights Council in November – December 2011, months before the fire.
Charlie’s sister, Lucy Campbell, referred to her brother as someone known for his smiles, hugs, handshakes, and waves.
She said Carl wasn’t scheduled to work on the day of his death but was a “hard worker” and picked up the extra shift to support his children.
Luggi and Charlie contributed 22 and 18.5 years to the Mill, respectively.
The inquest is designed to uncover facts about the incident, not to prosecute.
48 people will speak at the inquest between today and July 31st.