Lawyer told to hold ques­tions for next round of N.L. chop­per crash in­quiry

Cape Breton Post - - news -

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. (CP) — The com­mis­sioner head­ing an in­quiry into the fa­tal crash of a Cougar he­li­copter off New­found­land has ruled that coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing off­shore work­ers must wait to pose cer­tain ques­tions to com­pany ex­ec­u­tives.

Robert Wells says lawyer Ran­dell Earle can­not ask com­pany of­fi­cials what they knew about the run-dry ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Siko­rsky S-92A prior to the March 12 he­li­copter crash that killed 17 peo­ple.

Wells says that is a topic for the next phase of the in­quiry — af­ter the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board is­sues its in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port.

Once that is in hand he says all par­ties will get a chance to raise ques­tions and sub­mit them to the in­quiry.

Cougar’s

lawyer,

Norm Whalen, told the in­quiry that com­pany of­fi­cials have al­ready been in­ter­viewed on that same topic by the TSB in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Wells said that is part of the man­date as it probes for the cause of the crash and the in­quiry will not deal with it un­til af­ter that agency is­sues its re­port.

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