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Ontario man dead following industrial accident on West Van's Cypress Mountain

The 26-year-old worker was pinned beneath a front-end loader
A 26-year-old worker has died after being pinned underneath a piece of equipment at Cypress Mountain Resort.

A 26-year-old Ontario man is dead following an industrial accident at Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver Tuesday afternoon.

West Vancouver Police attended Cypress Mountain around 4:20 p.m., said Sgt. Mark McLean, after an industrial vehicle described as a front-end loader overturned, pinning the operator underneath. The man did not survive.

McLean said the accident happened as a crew on the mountain was disassembling the resort’s Eagle Coaster, a gravity-driven ride on Black Mountain that operates during the summer months.

The man was working in the area of the Windjammer ski slope when the accident happened, said McLean.

A preliminary investigation indicated the worker was outside of the vehicle when it started to roll on its own, said McLean. At some point the worker tried to get back into the vehicle as it was moving to regain control. That’s when the vehicle overturned on top of him, said McLean.

Other people who were working in the same area of the mountain witnessed the incident, said McLean, although he couldn’t say how far away they were at the time.

Police assisted in transporting BC Ambulance paramedics to the scene, and firefighters helped extract the victim.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, said McLean.

The coroner attended the scene Tuesday afternoon and will be co-ordinating an investigation with WorkSafeBC into how the accident happened, said McLean.

Police have not released the name of the victim, but McLean said he was new to B.C. and had recently arrived to work at the ski resort over the winter. Police in Ontario are supporting the victim’s family, McLean added.

“Obviously it’s a horrific and tragic event that happened,” he said.

In a statement, Joffrey Koeman, spokesman for Cypress Mountain Resort, said, "We are heartbroken by the loss of a truly beloved member of our Cypress Mountain team."

WorkSafeBC confirmed it has launched an investigation into the accident.