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NEWS RELEASE · 25th April 2012
RCMP
The tragic explosion and fire in a local saw mill has claimed one life and injured many others. Prince George Fire Rescue remain on the scene and the investigation into cause in continuing.

On April 23, 2012 at approximately 9:38 PM, Prince George Fire Rescue were called to a report of an explosion at the Lakeland Mills sawmill located on River Road in Prince George, BC. Emergency crews from Prince George Fire Rescue , the BC Ambulance Service and Prince George RCMP attended the scene to find the sawmill fully engulfed in flames.

Initial indication was that there were approximately 50 persons on the site, which included two separate mills. This was later found to be 49 persons. All 25 employees working in the planer mill were uninjured as the explosion had occurred in a separate processing mill across the property. The remaining 24 employees have been accounted for and all of them were transported to the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia with injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to severe burns.

Early this morning, one person passed away as a result of injuries sustained from this event. Four persons have been transported to other hospitals, two to Vancouver, one to Victoria and one to Edmonton.

Thirteen people have been released from medical care and the remaining six people are in serious but stable condition at the University Hospital of Northern BC.

Go to External Linkwww.northernhealth.ca for updates of the status of casualties.

RCMP Victim Services were available and on scene to assist the victims and their families affected by this tragedy. If anyone in our community requires emotional support or assistance during this tragic time please contact Victim Services at 250-561-3329.

Family members of patients that remain at UHNBC can contact (250)565-2339 for information.

Fire crews have made excellent progress in extinguishing the interior areas since early morning. The only area that is still burning is wood contained in the rough-sawn lumber in the sorter bins on the west side of the sawmill building. The next steps include working closely with Worksafe BC to ensure the scene is safe for investigators to begin fire cause determination.

Prince George RCMP, the BC Coroners Service and fire investigators from Prince George Fire / Rescue have begun the investigation into the cause of the fire. The immediate area around the mill is being secured and off limits to non-essential personnel.