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CSI Burnaby as forensic science students investigate mock disaster

A crashed helicopter, skeletal remains and a large group of people in full bio-hazard safety suits made for an alarming sight at BCIT’s Burnaby campus Tuesday.

This was no crime scene or disaster zone, but the start of a custom two-week forensic science course for 27 criminal justice undergraduate students from California State University. 

“Their job is to come out and process the scene,” said Dean Hildebrand, associate dean of Forensic Science and Technology at BCIT. “They have to search the scene, document it, and collect any evidence they will need.”

The helicopter was sourced by BCIT from a Richmond company, while the human remains are from a specimen the school uses for teaching purposes.

Hildebrand said the American students are interested in this program because it gives them a Canadian perspective on forensic science. 

“They learn from Canadian experts and some of the nuances between how we do forensic science up here, particularly the Canadian judicial system (which is) different,” he said. 

Throughout the two weeks, the students will hear from various forensic expert. In the end, “they will have to put it together and help solve the aspects of this crash,” said Hildebrand.

Criminal Justice undergrads from California State University investigate a staged crash/crime scene at BCIT campus in Burnaby on Tuesday. The crashed helicopter with skeletal remains is all part of a two-week field school hosted by the BCIT Forensic Science and Technology department.