Ottawa School Board Charged in Student’s Death
Fire officials in Ottawa, ON, have charged that city’s Catholic School Board in relation to the death of an 18-year-old student in May 2011. Eric Leighton was part of a group of students building barbecues in the auto shop of Mother Teresa High School when vapors from an empty oil drum exploded.
The student had reportedly been using a grinding tool to cut open a barrel that once contained peppermint oil.
The Ontario Fire Code charge alleges that the school allowed students to weld or cut a totally enclosed container.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is $100,000. The Ontario Ministry of Labour is also investigating Leighton’s death. It has ordered the school to not engage in any hot work projects involving welding, grinding or drilling.