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Parents of student killed in shop class explosion seek answers

Eric Leighton's parents say they plan to be present at every day of a two-week inquest into the 18-year-old's death that begins in Ottawa Monday.

They said they're looking for both closure and change from the inquest they've fought for months to see get underway.

Sheri and Patrick Leighton told CFRA they are hoping to finally get some answers nearly three years after their son was killed in a shop class explosion at Mother Teresa High School in Barrhaven.

"We've had tons of questions, Pat and I, and we haven't gotten the answers that we're looking for so we're hoping that the next two weeks will give us the answers that we have been searching for for the last two and a half years," said Sheri Leighton.

She said they're hoping to learn exactly what happened the day their son was killed, saying they've been left with many questions.

"A lot on the project details, how the project came about, you know, how it led to where it did. We're just trying to, like Sheri was saying, trying to get to the bottom of everything and trying to make it safer in schools," said Patrick Leighton.

They have said again and again they simply do not want this to happen to another family.

"It was devastating to both Pat and I when we lost Eric so, we just need this to, for the school boards for everyone just to understand that sticking with the curriculum is important," said Sheri Leighton, adding they know there are already some rules in place governing projects like the one her son had been working on.

Eric Leighton had been working with a used peppermint oil barrel when it exploded. He died from head injuries including multiple skull fractures.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board was fined $275,000 in 2013 for breaking Occupational Health and Safety Board rules.

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