Charges laid over Humboldt seniors home gas leak

Saskatoon's health region is facing occupational health and safety charges in connection with a carbon monoxide leak at a Humboldt seniors home that contributed to the deaths of three residents.

The region has been charged with 11 offences under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act. An earlier government report found that staff at St. Mary's Villa didn't follow proper emergency procedures when the leak was discovered on Dec. 26, 2010.

A boiler malfunctioned, allowing carbon monoxide to accumulate in the mechanical room. A backdraft caused the gas to be vented into living areas.

The health region was previously cited, but not charged, for occupational health and safety issues in connection with the incident.

Three residents died, and although all three had underlying health problems, it's believed exposure to the poisonous gas contributed to their deaths.

An 89-year-old man died the same day and two women, ages 94 and 98, died Jan. 4 and Jan. 26, 2011, respectively.

The health region is expected to release more information about the specific charges later today.

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]