Quebec's chief coroner, Pascale Descary, has ordered a public inquest into the two volunteer firefighters who died after falling into the Rivière du Gouffre in Charlevoix last month.

On Wednesday, Descary mandated coroner Andrée Kronstr to preside over the inquest, which will attempt to shed light on the cause and circumstances of the deaths of Christopher Lavoie, 23, and Régis Lavoie, 55.

The two men went missing on May 1 while attempting to assist citizens of Saint-Urbain, not far from the Rivière du Gouffre, which had burst its banks.

Their bodies were found two days later, about 500 metres apart in the river.

During the public inquest hearings, anyone can come forward and speak about the circumstances surrounding these deaths to analyze all the contributing factors, explained by the Coroner's Office in a press release.

The inquest will also recommend possible solutions to better protect human life.The Coroner's Office also points out that the inquest does not look to establish the civil or criminal liability of any individual.

Further details of the public inquiry, including hearing dates, are expected to be announced later.

The prosecutor who will assist Kronstr throughout the process will be named shortly, the Coroner's Office said. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 7, 2023.