Yesterday I received a forwarded email from a fellow geotechnical engineer and former coworker regarding a fatal accident involving a hollow stem auger drill rig in the Lindsay area of Ontario Canada on October 8th. I attempted to find local media accounts of the accident, and the only one that I could find did not have all of the details regarding specifics of the accident that were listed in the email. I chose to publish the details from the email anyway.
In my zeal to provide relevant news to the readers of GeoPrac.net, I lost sight of the fact that even bloggers must follow basic journalistic principals of checking their facts before publishing something. And more importantly I lost sight of the fact that this person was a friend, coworker, and family member to people…not just a news item.
Today I received a call from a friend and colleague (coworker I think) of the victim. He told me that my facts were not correct, and asked me to take the article down from GeoPrac, which I did immediately. I deeply, deeply regret and apologize for publishing this incorrect information without making every effort to verify the facts. And I am absolutely sick to my stomach to think that I have caused his friends and family, in particular his parents, any additional grief or heartache over and above that which they are already feeling.
In conversation with this person, he discussed briefly some of his efforts spurred by this accident to advance drill rig safety in Canada. I applaud these efforts, and I hope that he and the victim’s other family and friends can see that I had good intentions in sharing the email I received by posting it on GeoPrac…that is to remind people of the potential for serious accidents when working near drill rigs in the hopes that engineers, geologists and drillers will be always vigilant and look out for each other on the job site.
I truly meant what I said at the end of the original post, “My most sincere condolences go to [the victim’s] family and friends. This is an unfortunate reminder of the hazards of working around drill rigs. To all in the geotechnical or geological industries, please be careful out there…” If the family and friends of the victim wish me to print a correction to my previous post, I will most certainly do so. Again my most sincere and humble apologies to anyone who may have been hurt by my previous post.
Owner/Editor – GeoPrac.net