Victim's wife shouts 'liar' during testimony at Coroner's Inquest
The wife of one of the mushroom farm workers interrupted testimony at the Coroner's Inquest on Thursday, calling the witness a "liar," according to various media reports.
Co-owner Thinh Huu Doan, who originally didn't show up to testify on Tuesday and then was ordered to do so by the RCMP, was in the middle of an apology to the families, when Phuong Le, wife of worker Michael Phan, called him a "liar."
She later told reporters that Doan ordered her husband to go into the pump shed where toxic fumes took the life of three workers and left her husband in a coma in 2008.
When she rushed to the farm to see how her husband was, she claims that Doan told her he was fine. Ut Tran, 35, Han Pham, 47, and Chi Wai (Jimmy) Chan died on Sept. 5, 2008 while working at A-1 Mushroom Substratum Ltd. on 16 Avenue. Two other employees have been left with permanent brain damage.
One survivor, Tchen Phan, is in a wheelchair and cannot hear, talk or walk. The other, Michael Phan, a Langley father of two, has been in a coma since the 2008 incident.
Doan, who was a 25 per cent shareholder in the business, testified that he too lost consciousness that fateful day. Paramedics gave him oxygen and he came to.
He claimed to have no knowledge of toxic gases that can result from composting.
A-1 Mushroom owner Quan Truong testified on Wednesday that he is a victim, because the Township of Langley should have fixed the problems that led to the release of the gas that killed the three farm workers.
Through an interpreter, Truong said he is bankrupt from legal fees. He and Doan and their companies pleaded guilty in provincial court last year to 10 charges of violating provincial safety regulations, and were ordered to pay substantial fines.
Coroner Norm Seibel and the jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses for several more days, to determine the facts surrounding these deaths. The family members are expected to testify on Monday.
The jury is expected to deliberate on Tuesday and can make recommendations to prevent similar deaths from happening in the future.