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Tentative guilty plea deal reached in Eastway Tank explosion case

A tentative guilty plea deal has been reached in the Eastway Tank explosion case.

On Jan. 13, 2022, an explosion and massive fire broke out at a facility on Merivale Road.

Ottawa police issued a drone photo of Eastway Tank on Merivale Road following Thursday’s explosion and fire. (Photo courtesy: Ottawa Police Service)

Rick Bastien, Etienne Mabiala, Danny Beale, Kayla Ferguson, Russell McLellan and Matt Kearney, all employees of the company, were killed by the blast.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour laid Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against Eastway Tank and its owner, Neil Greene, in early 2023.

An email sent to families of the victims on Friday said a guilty plea is expected to be reached.

A trial was slated to begin this month, but the Crown lawyer says trial dates have been vacated. The case will now return to court on April 5 for an anticipated resolution.

The charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act are not criminal charges. Under the Act, the maximum penalties for a corporation are $1.5 million. Individuals charged under the act can face a fine of up to $100,000, up to 12 months in prison, or both.

–with files from CTV News Ottawa’s Natalie van Rooy and Josh Pringle.

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