February 27, 2013
Worker dies in residential site explosion
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) officers in Alberta are investigating the cause of a gas explosion that killed one worker and critically injured two others at a residential construction site in Fort Saskatchewan.
“Yesterday (Feb. 21) at about 1:15 p.m., a gas fitter was working at a new home under construction, when an explosion occurred,” said Alberta OH&S officer, Lisa Glover.
“The Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and police officers responded to the scene. STARS (Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) transported two injured workers and ground ambulance transported another to hospital with burns. One of the workers succumbed to his injuries and two other are in critical condition.”
The incident took place at 140 Allard Way in the Southpointe neighbourhood.
Glover said the man died the next day around 6 a.m.
Both Global Edmonton and the Edmonton Journal said the worker has been identified by family as 33 year-old Jason Michalycia from Regina.
He was working inside the home with his cousins, Wes and Wilfred Michalycia, when the explosion took place.
Deputy Fire Chief Bill Heesing said the injured workers were out of the house by the time the Fire Department arrived.
About a dozen workers, who were working nearby at the time of the blast, used a ladder to get the Michalycias out of the basement.
The blast burned their clothes off.
According to City of Fort Saskatchewan spokeswoman Wendy Kinsella, the explosion was strong enough to blow out the front window, as well as blow two sides of the house onto neighbouring homes.
It also blew out the rear wall.
The neighbouring homes, both unoccupied, have some exterior damage to the siding.
Fire crews remained on scene to investigate the incident and determined the cause of the explosion was a gas leak in the basement of the unoccupied single family dwelling.
The men are employed by Wil-Flow Plumbing and Heating, a plumbing and mechanical contractor on the project. The prime contractor is Rose Croft.
The Fort Saskatchewan Fire Department has turned the scene over to OH&S officers, who will investigate.
Officers had to ensure the structure was stable, before they could enter the basement to investigate.
A stop work order has been issued for the construction site.
STARS provides emergency medical care and transport to the critically ill and injured in the province.
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