Three workers fired in aftermath of Cleveland Dam incident that resulted in one dead, one missing

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      Three workers have been fired as a result of an unscheduled release of water from North Vancouver's Cleveland Dam on October 1 that killed one man and left another missing.

      A Metro Vancouver news release today (October 30) stated: "On October 8, 2020, Metro Vancouver reported that the tragic event at the Cleveland Dam during drum gate maintenance work on October 1 was due to human error.

      "Today, Metro Vancouver further reports that three employees have been dismissed from employment with Metro Vancouver."

      No information relating to the exact cause of the employees' termination was made available, and Metro Vancouver stated in the release that it "will not be providing further comment at this time".

      Investigations into the incident are continuing.

      At about 1:45 p.m. on October 1, RCMP received calls for help on the Capilano River below the Cleveland Dam. Witnesses reported that a large volume of water had surged downriver and swept away at least five anglers, four of whom managed to make their way to safety.

      Rescue workers retrieved a fifth person from the water who subsequently died. Another man was thought to be missing and a search was launched, with no success. The RCMP dive team, the Vancouver police marine unit, and North Shore Rescue were involved in the search.

      Media reports on October 7 identified the dead man as Ryan Nickerson, a local artist. The missing man was his 27-year-old son, Hugh. The two men had been fishing on the banks of the Capilano River when the accidental water release occurred.

      Metro Vancouver is responsible for providing drinking water from three watersheds to its 21 member municipalities, one electoral district, and one treaty First Nation. The Capilano Reservoir in North Vancouver that is contained by the Cleveland Dam supplies about a third of the region's drinking water. The Cleveland Dam was built in 1954.

      Along with the other two watershed reservoirs—Seymour and Coquitlam—and three mountain lakes normally used in the summer, Capilano supplies water to about 2.6 million Lower Mainland residents.

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