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The Globe and Mail

Charges laid in fatal York University drilling rig accident

Police investigate an accident at York University in Toronto in which a drilling rig fell over, killing one man and injuring several others.

Peter Power/Peter Power/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act have been laid against two companies in connection with a fatal accident a year ago on the Keele Street campus of York University at the site of the Spadina extension dig.

Kyle Knox, 24, an aspiring crane operator and apprentice with the Scarborough company Anchor Shoring and Caissons Ltd., died Oct. 11 when a drilling rig toppled on to the cab of a backhoe he was operating, trapping him inside.

A resident of Stouffville, north of Toronto, Mr. Knox was engaged to be married at the time of his death.

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Five other workers were injured.

The drilling rig was owned by another company, Advanced Construction Techniques (ACT) of Kettleby, Ont. The digging was part of the $2.6-billion subway extension reaching north to York Region.

As a result of the accident, tunnelling was delayed for four months.

ACT is one of the companies charged by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The other is OHL-FCC GP Canada Inc., another component of the multi-organization project.

Each company faces four charges, which broadly accuse them of failing to ensure that adequate safety measures were in place.

A first hearing on the charges will be held Nov.1.

Spokesmen for the two companies and relatives of Mr. Knox could not be immediately reached.

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"The TTC takes the safety of the public, its customers, its employees and those under the control of its contractors on construction projects very seriously," said Brad Ross of the Toronto Transit Commission.

"The companies under contract are themselves legally responsible for  safety on their work sites. But since this tragic incident we - the TTC and the project owner - have intensified monitoring of all of our contractors to  ensure safety measures are in place."

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