Coroner's inquest set for 2009 Christmas Eve scaffolding collapse that left 4 dead

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Fayzullo Fazilov, 31, Alexsandrs Bondarevs, 24, Vladimir Korostin, 40, and Aleksey Blumberg, 38, died when the swing stage they were on collapsed without warning on Dec. 24, 2009.  (CBC - image credit)
Fayzullo Fazilov, 31, Alexsandrs Bondarevs, 24, Vladimir Korostin, 40, and Aleksey Blumberg, 38, died when the swing stage they were on collapsed without warning on Dec. 24, 2009. (CBC - image credit)

A coroner's inquest has been set in a scaffolding collapse that claimed the lives of four men at a Toronto construction site on Christmas Eve more than a decade ago.

Fayzullo Fazilov, 31, Alexsandrs Bondarevs, 24, Vladimir Korostin, 40, and Aleksey Blumberg, 38, died when the swing stage they were on collapsed without warning on Dec. 24, 2009. The men, who had all recently immigrated from Eastern Europe, were doing balcony repairs on a west-end highrise at the time.

The inquest, which will examine the circumstances surrounding their deaths, has been scheduled to begin Jan. 31 and is expected to last one week.

As is standard with coroner's inquests, the jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing further such deaths.

The men, who worked for Metron Construction, fell about 13 storeys. Another worker was badly injured and a sixth, who was tethered as required under provincial law and by industry practice, was left dangling in mid-air but unhurt.

The project manager, Vadim Kazenelson, managed to hold on to a balcony when the scaffolding gave way.

He was later convicted of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one of causing bodily harm after a judge found he was aware that protections against falls were not in place.

Kazenelson was sentenced to 3 1/2 years behind bars and lost his appeal in 2018.

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