BURNS LAKE (NEWS1130) – The BC Coroners Service has recovered the bodies of both workers who died in Friday night’s catastrophic fire and explosion at the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake.

Carl Charlie, a father of two, and Robert Luggi, a father and grandfather, were caught in the inferno and coroners are now carrying out forensic tests to identify each of them. The first body was found Sunday afternoon, the second on Monday afternoon.

Barbara McLintock with the BC Coroner’s Service says crews from BC’s Specialized Identification Disaster Response Unit were shocked by the scene.

“Several of them have said this is possibly one of the most devastating scenes they’ve ever seen in their lives, and some of these people have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of scenes,” she says. “They say this is just basically like a war zone, it’s like a neutron bomb hit it.”

Of the 19 people hurt in the blast, 11 remain in BC and Alberta hospitals and at least two of those are listed in critical condition.

McLintock says RCMP interviews with sawmill workers helped searchers pinpoint where the bodies were, but it was an extremely dangerous process as several hotspots are still burning.

“Everything was destroyed in this explosion and fire, so everything’s burned out… the roof is basically in what the basement was,” she says. “They talk about steel girders twisted like pretzels. The whole thing just kind of fell over, so it’s a very, very difficult scene.”

A Lakes District Tragedy Fund has been set up to help victims and families affected by the injuries and loss.  You can donate at any CIBC branch in BC.  The levelled mill was the community’s main employer. A meeting was set to be held Monday night in Burns Lake as residents consider their options.