WINDSOR, Ontario—When the bulk carrier Tecumseh arrives in port in Windsor, Ontario, it will be met by a team of investigators from the Transportation Safety Board.
They have been dispatched to assess a fatal accident that happened in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Saturday, December 1, 2012, just before 2:00 AM.
According to the Thunder Bay Police Services, the police department and Thunder Bay Fire Rescue were called to attend an industrial accident at the port. A 40-year-old man, who was a resident of the Greater Toronto Area, was fatally injured while working on the Tecumseh while the ship was being loaded with grain.
“Once the emergency was attended to—and it was a fatality—they reported to us on Saturday,” says John Cottreau, manager of media relations for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).
“Then they loaded cargo and reported to Windsor which is their terminal port. They were taking cargo from Thunder Bay and off-loading in Windsor.
“On the Sunday, we got new information that made us decide we wanted to take a closer look. So what we’ve done is determined where they’re going to be and we are going to meet them in Windsor, when they call alongside, and we are going to complete an assessment of the occurrence and we are going to determine what our next steps are going to be from there.”
Cottreau says that during this assessment phase, the TSB will decide what its next steps will be. The agency classifies incidents and accidents into one of five categories.
An occurrence is deemed to be Class I if it necessitates a full public inquiry. This has never occurred.
Class II means the TSB judges there will be recommendations that come out of the accident to prevent similar situations in the future.
Like Class I and Class II, Class III requires that an investigation be completed and a report be produced, but is unlikely to result in recommendations.
When the TSB begins to notice a trend in the type of accidents occurring, it goes into its database to do a forensic investigation into the incidents. That’s Class IV.
For a Class V occurrence the TSB records the data relating to the accident for its statistical database but takes no further steps.
“We are going to assess this accident against criteria and classify it along those guidelines. That will determine what our next steps are going to be. That’s the process that is going to happen tomorrow onboard the Tecumseh,” says Cottreau.
In addition to the TSB, the Federal Ministry of Labour is also looking into the accident.
The Tecumseh is owned by Lower Lakes Towing, based in Port Dover, Ontario.
Besides the team sent to Windsor, the TSB also dispatched a team from its Richmond Hill, Ontario office to London, Ontario after an 11-year-old girl was struck by a CP freight train on Saturday. The victim has been identified as Kendra Cameron.
According to the London Police Service, the coroner has ruled the death to be accidental, even though the investigation into the fatality is still ongoing.