Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, 24 April 2012 -- (Marketwire) -- Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd. can confirm that a serious accident occurred last night at their Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George, British Columbia.
An explosion occurred at the Lakeland Mills site at approximately 9:45 p.m. on 23 April 2012. The explosion resulted in a fire that completely destroyed the sawmill. Details on damage to the rest of the Lakeland Mills site, which also includes a planer mill, are not available at this time.
There were 24 employees working in the sawmill at the time of the incident, and a further 16 employees in the planer mill and four employees working in the yard.
It can be confirmed that 25 employees of the sawmill were taken to University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC). At this time, 14 remain in UHNBC, while four more were airlifted to hospitals in Vancouver and Edmonton.
"We're devastated by the news of this incident and our thoughts are with our employees and their families," said Greg Stewart, president of Sinclar Group Forest Products.
"We will not speculate on the cause of the incident at Lakeland Mills until the proper authorities have completed their investigation. All of our attention right now is focused on ensuring our employees and their families receive the care they need."
Updates on the situation at Lakeland Mills will be posted at www.sinclar.com as information becomes available.
Lakeland Mills is a division of Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd., an integrated wood manufacturing company with five primary mills (sawmills and planer mills) and three secondary (value-added) mills. The company's operations in Prince George, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James are independently owned and managed by teams of dedicated professionals who strive to maintain the values of a small, family-run venture while consistently seeking opportunities for sustainable growth and innovation. Sinclar Group is certified under the PEFC Annex 4 Chain of Custody standard, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the ISO 14001:2004 standard.