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Ontario Power Generation charged in dam drowning deaths

Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) and two of its employees have been charged with criminal negligence causing death in connection with an incident in Eastern Ontario two years ago that killed a mother and her son.
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Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) and two of its employees have been charged with criminal negligence causing death in connection with an incident in Eastern Ontario two years ago that killed a mother and her son. The following is an OPP news release issued this morning:

****************************** OPP charges power corporation and its staff in dam deaths

RENFREW, ON, July 9 - The Ontario Provincial Police has charged Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG) and two of its employees with two counts of criminal negligence causing death and seven counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm in connection with an incident at the Barrett Chute dam two years ago that killed a mother and her son. Cindy Cadieux, 31, and her son Aaron, 8, both of Calabogie, were killed June 23, 2002 when they were swept away by water released when the dam, located in the Township of Greater Madawaska, was opened to drain off excess water.

Autopsies identified the cause of death as drowning. A group of approximately 20 people had been sunbathing in an area known as High Falls, downriver from the Barrett Chute dam, near Calabogie.

Members of the group were swept away when they were struck by water which was released by the spillway being opened. Other individuals were also at the mouth of the Calabogie Lake in boats.

During the course of this complex investigation, investigators worked steadily in examining more than 100,000 emails and 40,000 taped phone calls.

The final report on the case contained more than 8,000 pages of documentation. "This was not an investigation that could be completed within a short period of time," said the case manager OPP D/Insp. Ian Grant, of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch.

"We were committed to conducting a thorough investigation into these deaths, and we carefully weighed all of the information surrounding the incident and assessed it."

Charged jointly are Robert Bednarek, 45, an operator agent for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Barrett Chute Generating Station; John Tammadge, 50, the plant group manager of the Ottawa River St. Lawrence Plant Group of OPG; and Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG), the corporation as a whole.

The accused have been summonsed to appear in court in Pembroke July 13, 2004. ******************************