UPDATE: Mine Rescue Efforts Well Underway, 27 Miners Safely Evacuated

SUDBURY – Rescue efforts to safely evacuate the 39 miners temporarily trapped underground at Vale's Totten Mine in Sudbury are well underway, with 27 miners having been safely returned to the surface.

A team of doctors is on-site, checking workers as they emerge. No one has been physically injured in the incident or in the evacuation. The highly trained rescue team has been working since last night to evacuate the miners who have been trapped underground since mid-day on Sunday. Food, water and other necessities are available and workers are being given rides home.

“When an incident like this unfortunately happens, everyone comes together. The miners support each other, the highly trained mine rescue teams come together and the whole community waits patiently praying for the safe return of every one of the 39 miners to surface,” said Nick Larochelle, USW Local 6500 President, representing 30 of the 39 miners. Union officials have been on-site all night at the mine and are working closely with Vale for the safe return of all miners.

“We are all trying to be patient, which is very difficult in this circumstance. Our thoughts are with the miners who are still underground and their families,” Larochelle said. The rescuers are doing an excellent job and are working hard to bring everyone up as quickly as possible, he added.

“We have made great improvements to health and safety when it comes to mining, this is an important example of why we can never lose focus on safe work for everyone – whatever their job is.”

USW Local 6500 will be hosting a press conference once all of the miners have been safely returned to the surface.


For further information:

Pascal Boucher, USW Area Co-ordinator, 705-521-3414, pboucher@usw.ca 
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

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