Archives: Tower workers plunge to their deaths

This day in Vancouver history: Jan. 7, 1981

Four carpenters die after the exterior panel they were standing on broke free from the 36th storey of  Bentall Tower 4 at the corner of Melville and Thurlow streets. The accident that took the lives of Donald Davis, Gunther Couvreux, Yrjo Mitrunen, and Brian Stevenson was one of the worst work place accidents in the city’s history.

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The tragedy also sparked the first B.C. government inquiry into the construction industry's worker safety record and accident prevention practices.

Every year since, people gather at the accident site near the Burrard Street SkyTrain staion to lay flowers in their memory and to draw public awareness to what remains a very dangerous industry. Last year 31 construction workers were killed in British Columbia.

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