Still no answers for families of Kelowna crane collapse victims

Journal of Commerce | DCN-JOC News Services | November 16, 2023

KELOWNA — Two years after the tragic crane collapse in Kelowna, B.C., the RCMP’s investigation remains ongoing with no conclusion in sight.

When contacted by the Journal of Commerce, the RCMP had no update to report.

WorkSafeBC, meanwhile, has completed its investigation into the incident but has chosen not to release its findings publicly, in consultation with the RCMP, to avoid potentially compromising the ongoing criminal investigation.

The crane collapse occurred on July 12, 2021, during construction of a 25-storey tower development project, resulting in the loss of five lives: Cailen Vilness, Jared Zook, Eric Stemmer, Patrick Stemmer and Brad Zawislak.

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 115, which represents crane operators in British Columbia, has been advocating for transparency and accountability. The IUOE emphasized the need for timely disclosure of investigation results to ensure safety improvements and informed training for crane operators.

The incident prompted parallel investigations by the RCMP, focusing on criminal responsibility, and WorkSafeBC, with a goal to determine the collapse’s cause, enforce safety measures. and enhance future safety protocols.