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Inquest coming into deaths of Hydro One workers in 2017 helicopter crash

A helicopter crash near Tweed, Ont., killed four Hydro One workers on December 14, 2017. A coroner's inquest into their deaths is now slated to begin next month. (Transportation Safety Board - image credit)
A helicopter crash near Tweed, Ont., killed four Hydro One workers on December 14, 2017. A coroner's inquest into their deaths is now slated to begin next month. (Transportation Safety Board - image credit)

A coroner's inquest will get underway next month into the deaths of four Hydro One workers killed when their helicopter crashed in Tweed, Ont., in 2017.

The pilot and three power line technicians were carrying out routine maintenance work on a hydro line and transmission tower that December when their helicopter went down north of Belleville.

The four men killed were James Baragar, 39, Jeffrey Howes and Darcy Jansen, both 26, and Kyle Shorrock, 27.

The inquest — mandatory under provincial legislation — is expected to last 15 days and hear from approximately 10 witnesses, according to Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General.

It will look at the events surrounding the crash, the ministry said in a news release Wednesday. A jury may issue recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

TSB has already investigated

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has already investigated the crash, initially finding an improperly secured external bag likely came loose and struck the tail rotor of the helicopter.

In its 2019 final report, the TSB concluded the three technicians were not fully strapped in and were thrown from the helicopter, either when it hit the ground or shortly beforehand.

The board urged Transport Canada to come up with a more thorough definition of "safety belt."