Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageFumes from Mushroom Farm Kill Three

By Bob Ewing     Sep 7, 2008 in Environment
Three people were killed after they were overcome by fumes in a shed on the property of a mushroom farm: neighbours had complained about the smell from the farm on several occasions.
There were three people killed and three injured on a mushroom room near Langley British Columbia.
The six people were overcome by noxious fumes in a shed on the farm's property Friday. The nature of the fumes is unknown.
One of the victims has been identified as Ut Tran, 35, of Surrey while thirty-five-year-old Michael Phan of Langley, B.C., remains in serious condition in hospital.
An investigation is underway in the fatal incident, and that it's not yet known how the fumes escaped.
"We're still making the site safe," said John Eldridge, manager of fatal and serious investigation with WorkSafeBC.
"We can't really go in and take a look inside this pump house yet because it's still not a safe environment for our investigators."
Roger Layton, a neighbour, said a coalition of neighbours called Citizens for Legitimate Composting have complained to the Township of Langley and the Metro Vancouver many times about the smell of manure they think is coming from the property belonging to Farmers Fresh Mushrooms Inc.
The coalition suspects that the farm's owner is composting at all hours. They filed the complaints to get the property inspected and find out where the smell is coming from.
"The smell can be at any time, not all the time, but it can be 10 minutes or four hours," Layton said. "It depends which way the wind is blowing."
Apparently, huge piles of manure would sit on the property for up to a week.
"They'd have a tractor out there and that tractor would mix it and a couple of guys would hose water on it and it would steam away and the wind would blow my way and you'd have to hide in the house," Layton said.
Property owner Ha Quan Truong was not able to be contacted.
Neighbour Charlie Fox is a city councillor and had filed a complaint with the Farm Industry Review Board in June to have the farm inspected.
The complaint was filed so he could verify if the smell, which Fox calls "obnoxious," is in fact coming from compost on the farm.
"When it's smelly you can't have a barbecue because it's just uncomfortable," he said.
The B.C. Federation of Labour wants a public inquiry into Friday's incident.
Federation president Jim Sinclair said had gone to the farm and spoke to workers, most of who were Vietnamese.
"We have a systemic problem of using a lot of immigrants to do the work, who aren't necessarily trained to the do job," Sinclair said. "We need to look deeper into what's going on in this industry."
More about Mushrooms, Farm, Workers
More news from
Latest News
Top News