Eastway Tank and Owner Plead Guilty in Fatal Explosion Case: Justice Pending

Ottawa, Canada – Eastway Tank, Pump and Meter Ltd. and owner Neil Greene have pleaded guilty to charges related to a workplace explosion that resulted in the deaths of six employees. The blast, which occurred in January 2022, claimed the lives of Rick Bastien, Etienne Mabiala, Danny Beale, Kayla Ferguson, Russell McLellan, and Matt Kearney, who succumbed to his injuries a day later. Another individual suffered severe injuries in the incident.

The company and its owner were accused of breaching Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act by failing to ensure that diesel fuel used for wet testing of trucks was not contaminated with gasoline. Additionally, they failed to provide proper information, instruction, and supervision to workers regarding safe fuel storage and handling procedures. The guilty pleas were part of a joint submission in court.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour laid three identical charges against Eastway and Neil Greene a year after the tragedy. These charges included allegations related to the safe loading and testing of trucks away from ignition sources, proper fuel handling protocols to prevent splashing, and adequate training for workers on safe fuel storage practices.

During the court proceedings, family members of the deceased and the severely injured individual addressed the court with victim impact statements. They shared their pain and grief over the loss of their loved ones and the profound impact the incident had on their lives. The emotional testimonies shed light on the devastating consequences of the workplace explosion.

The guilty pleas and subsequent sentencing will mark a significant development in the case, seeking justice for the victims and their families. The tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of workplace safety and the devastating toll that such incidents can have on individuals and communities. As the legal proceedings continue, the court will determine the appropriate penalties for the company and its owner in light of the charges they have admitted to.