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October 13, 2010

Toronto police lay criminal charges in swing-stage deaths

VINCE VERSACE

staff writer

Three men are facing criminal charges in connection with the 2009 Christmas Eve swing-stage accident in Toronto that killed four workers.

Toronto Police report that Vadim Kazenelson, Joel Swartz, and Benny Saigh are set to appear in court today facing four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. Metron Construction Corp. also faces the same charges.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour brought 61 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in August against the employer and equipment supplier connected to the accident.

Under the OHSA charges, both Metron and swing-stage supplier Swing “N” Scaff face fines of up to $500,000 for each charge. Directors of both companies face maximum fines of up to $25,000 each and prison sentences of up to 12 months. These parties made their first appearance on the OHSA charges in a provincial court on Sept. 30.

In the Dec. 24, 2009 accident, four construction workers plunged 13 storeys to their deaths at a Kipling Avenue apartment restoration work site when a swing-stage they were working on came apart. Police report that six people were on the swing-stage at the time of the accident and the apparatus broke apart when a seventh tried to get on it.

Vladimir Korostin, Aleksey Blumberg, Alexander Bondorev and Fayzullo Fazilov lost their lives in the accident. Dilshod Marupov survived the fall and the sixth man was saved because he was attached to a lifeline, Toronto Police report.

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