Pipeline worker remembered as hard worker, devoted father

·2 min read

A worker killed this week at a Trans Mountain pipeline construction site in west Edmonton is being remembered as a devoted father who worked tirelessly to build a life himself in Canada.

Samatar Sahal, 40, died on Tuesday. He was working at a construction site in the area of Whitemud Drive and Winterburn Road when he was struck and killed by a piece of equipment.

Occupational Health and Safety officials are investigating.

Sahal's cousin, Aden Abdi, said the family remains in shock.

"He was in the prime of his life," Abdu said in an interview with CBC News on Thursday. "There is nothing normal about this."

Sahal leaves behind his wife and four young children. The eldest is eight, the youngest is three months old.

"He was a young man, a humble man, who enjoyed his family and his kids all the time," Abdi said.

"His family will really miss him a lot because he loved his kids. He was a good father."

Abdi said Sahal came to Canada from Somalia in 2005 with no money and few prospects.

"He came to this country with nothing," Abdi said.

"He came here as a refugee. He had no family, no brothers or sisters here. He pretty much had to start his own life here from scratch.

"Like so many people who come to this country, they come with nothing, and with hard work, you can build your own life."

David Bajer/CBC
David Bajer/CBC

Sahal was an employee of SA Energy Group, a general contractor hired to construct portions of the Trans Mountain pipeline in the greater Edmonton area.

A GoFundMe page established for his family says Sahal had worked in construction for nearly a decade and was previously employed as a foreman at the Suncor base plant near Fort McMurray.

Samatar taught me about the value of hard work. - Mohamud Barre

Mohamud Barre, who is organizing the fundraiser, said he met Sahal in 2013. Sahal, who worked for many years as a foreman at the Suncor base plant near Fort McMurray, was his first foreman.

"Samatar taught me about the value of hard work and more importantly, the importance of family, through his actions,"Mohamud Barre wrote.

"He often advised me to get married and the joy a family would bring.

"Hearing the tragic news of Samatar's death, my thoughts immediately went to his wife and his kids."

As of Wednesday, work at the construction site remained halted and caution tape surrounded a large sideboom crane on site.

Sahal's family gathered there to pray and they will gather again Thursday afternoon at Al Rashid Mosque for a Janazeh prayer, a Muslim funeral service.