October 26, 2010
Tearful thanks from mother of swing-stage tragedy survivor
A tearful thank you from the mother of a Christmas Eve swing-stage tragedy survivor to the Ontario building trades brought tears and quivering lips at the trades’ recent convention.
“I thank everyone on my behalf and my family for your help and support and that from the Canadian people,” said an emotional Moira Homidova, through an interpreter, at the 53rd annual Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario event.
“He is the only child that I have. I thank the doctors that have helped and the hospital’s support. Thanks a lot.” Homidova’s son, Dilshod Marupov, was one of six reported workers on a swing-stage that broke apart at a Kipling Avenue apartment restoration project site on Dec. 24, 2009.
The workers plunged 13 storeys to their deaths. Toronto police report that at the time of the accident the swing-stage broke apart when a seventh worker tried to get on it. The other survivor in the accident was saved because he was tied to a lifeline.
Vladimir Korostin, Aleksey Blumberg, Alexander Bondorev and Fayzullo Fazilov lost their lives in the accident.
Marupov, who is from Uzbekistan, had both his legs crushed, his spine broken, and was in hospital for several months.
Marupov, 22, filed a civil lawsuit seeking $16.3 million in damages, naming the companies involved in the accident and the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
Since the accident the building trades took the lead in co-ordinating with various industry stakeholders to help bring Marupov’s family to Canada to be with their son.
Pat Dillon, business manager of the business trades, said the process to bring Marupov’s parents from Uzbekistan took 10 months.
“That process was deplorable but the good thing is they are here and we are very pleased to welcome them here to Ontario and our convention,” said Dillon.
“This tragedy, as bad as it was, had one great thing and may mean more (health and safety) changes down the road. Dilshod lived through this tragic event. He is a very brave young man.”
Since the accident the building trades have met with Dilshod regularly and worked with the family to help make their reunion a reality. Funds collected from the public, other industrial unions, and the building trades members cannot be underestimated, said Dillon.
“Many times unions get a black eye for all kinds of unjustifiable reasons,” said Dillon.
“Little does the public know that there is stuff like this and a lot of the work we do in communities that make them so great to live in.”
Dillon said the timing it took to get Marupov’s parents here leaves their visa for the stay valid for only another three weeks.
The building trades will work with the family and immigration lawyers to get their stay extend to just beyond Christmas.
Peter Fonseca, Ontario’s labour minister, spoke after Marupov’s mother and said the efforts by the building trades were to be commended.
“You have such big hearts and to be able to reunite them, that speaks volumes of your heart,” he said.
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