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Father wants inquest into death at Fortescue mine camp

Editorial
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The family of a man killed when a cyclone tore through the Fortescue Metals Group’s Rail Camp One in the Pilbara wants an inquest into his death.

42-year-old Craig Raabe and Perth mother-of-two Debra Till were killed in 2007 when category-five Cyclone George ripped through the Pilbara mining camp, lifting dongas and flipping some over.

Speaking from his home in Queensland yesterday, Craig’s father Steve is calling for the new state coroner Ros Fogliani to call an inquest into the two deaths, The West Australian reported.

"There are so many unanswered questions," Raabe said.

 "The good thing about an inquest is that a coroner can call witnesses and compel them to answer questions."

Raabe wants a number of questions answered, including about the dongas in which his son and his co-workers sheltered and who was responsible for deciding not to evacuate employees.

"This whole thing is begging, calling for an inquest," he said.

An investigation found that some dongas were not anchored to building standards for the region.

Last year Fortescue Metals Group was cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to the two deaths.

The Supreme Court rejected a WorkSafe appeal over the incident, instead upholding a previous decision that Fortescue had not failed in its duty of care.

FMG subsidiary The Pilbara Infrastructure’s (TPI) mines were also found to be exempt from the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

While Laing O'Rourke was acquitted on appeal of criminal wrongdoing and charges against five other companies were dropped.

Raabe yesterday paid tribute to his son, stating he would not stop until his questions are answered.

"I have to support my son to try and get an inquest. There were too many things wrong at that camp," he said.

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