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Calgary family mourns father of 3 killed in fall from building in Chestermere

The Calgary Central Full Gospel Church isn’t just a place of worship.

It’s also a gathering place for many newcomers from Korea in Calgary.

When the roof at the southwest church was leaking a few months ago, congregation member Songki Kim jumped in to help put his roofing skills to work.

“He fixed it because it leaks, especially with the rain, so he volunteered to fix it,” said Pastor Won Kim at Calgary Central Full Gospel Church

“Mr. Kim is a very nice guy and everyone likes him very much.”

On Sunday, Nov. 26, Songki was working on a roof at a residential job site in Chestermere.

It’s believed he fell about 12 metres from a condo under construction but there were no witnesses.

His family says he was discovered by someone from another site

“When I arrived at the hospital, he was in a coma so I couldn’t talk with him,” said his sister-in-law, Youngja Yang.

Youngja describes Songki as a kind and loving husband and father to three children.

“He did everything for them. He was a very good father to the children. After his work, he always played with the children. He always tried to go outside to play with them even though he was so tired, he always tried to be the best father to his children,” Youngja said.

She said her sister, Youngkum Yang and Songki moved to Canada from Korea to provide their children with a better life.

She said their 11-year-old daughter was especially close to her dad.

“My niece is always crying. She shouts to her father, ‘Daddy I miss you, don’t go, please stay with me,’” Youngja said.

Since immigrating to Canada in 2009, Songki’s family says he worked tirelessly on roofs to support his family.

Now since his passing, his wife and their children are facing financial hardship as Songki was the sole provider. A fundraiser has been set up for the family.

Youngja, who was speaking for her sister, said the family is  grateful to the church members who have been supporting them in their time of grief.

“All of the Korean church members prayed for my brother-in-law. I was so grateful.  I give thanks for them — they’re always with us,”  Youngja said.  She said they have no other family in Canada.

Grace Chae has known the family for 10 years. She recalls the times Songki, who was a chef back in Korea, would invite congregation members over for feasts.

“He was really courteous and kind and he was a good father. He was a good friend,” Chae said.

“I was so shocked.  I was so depressed when I heard he died and I was there at the hospital when he died. I couldn’t believe it,”

Church members are doing what they can to help the family emotionally and financially.

Songki was working on a Sunday when he died. His family says he was discovered by someone from another job site

The president of Peden Safety Consultants said sometimes workers are on a job site after regular hours depending on the phase of the project or they might have to work extra hours to do something that must be done when there are fewer workers around.

“It’s not uncommon, but there should be processes in place to make sure those people are safe when they’re by themselves,” said Rick Peden, president of Peden Safety Consultants

Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety is now investigating the incident.


&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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