·  Media Release   ·  

Westwood Mine Cave-In: a Collapse Waiting to Happen

Rouyn-Noranda, Que. - The Steelworkers are very concerned following Monday night's cave-in at the Iamgold Westwood Mine - the second collapse in the same section of the mine in the last four months.

Nine workers remain trapped underground, uninjured and safe, waiting to be rescued, following Monday's cave-in.  Four miners had to be rescued following the previous collapse earlier this year.

"We will do everything in our power to help our colleagues and support the investigation the Quebec workplace health and safety board (CSST) is conducting into the collapse," said Steelworkers union representative Marc Thibodeau. 

"We are extremely concerned. After the collapse four months ago, the work site was closed, but the company decided to access the same section through a different tunnel. We have seen where that has led us today. We sincerely hope that the rescue efforts will be successful. Our thoughts are with the miners who are trapped underground, their colleagues and especially their families who are anxious to see them in the light of day," Thibodeau said. 

"Time is critical. These warnings must be taken seriously. With two cave-ins in four months, we have to wonder whether the section involved is safe for mining. We have serious doubts about that! The Steelworkers will monitor the issue closely to ensure that the company does not endanger the lives of the workers," he added. 

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For further information:

Clairandrée Cauchy, 514-774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca
Steelworkers office in Rouyn-Noranda, 819-762-3001

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Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy

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