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TTC fined for fumes in tunnel

Dec 10, 2007 11:28 AM
Josh Wingrove
Staff Reporter

The Toronto Transit Commission was fined more than $200,000 Monday, after pleading guilty in a case where maintenance workers were overcome by carbon monoxide while repairing a subway tunnel last year.

Eight TTC staff were working in the northbound tunnel between Eglinton and Lawrence stations early in the morning on Feb. 7, 2006, according to a Ministry of Labour news release. The crew was using two gas-powered machines, a generator and power-washer to remove material to repair concrete in the tunnel as part of a $15.7 million project.

About 75 minutes into the job, the foreman called TTC control to say the workers were overcome with fumes. It took 84 minutes to get the workers out at Eglinton station.

Fire crews reported a carbon monoxide level of more than 1,000 parts-per-million when they arrived, 10 times the short-term exposure limit in Ontario. The level had dropped to 550 ppm by 5:30 a.m., still well above the 100 ppm short-term limit.

The TTC pleaded guilty in court Monday to failing to properly ventilate the carbon monoxide produced by the gas-powered equipment. The court imposed a $165,000 fine, with a 25 per cent premium to support a fund for the families of victims of crimes. The fine totals $206,250.

A TTC supervisor will appear in court next year in relation to the same incident.