A rescue operation is underway Monday for 39 people stuck underground at Vale’s Totten Mine in Sudbury, Ont., CTV News has confirmed.
Nick Larochelle, president of Steelworkers Local 6500, told CTV’s Lyndsay Aelick 39 people, including 30 Steelworkers, have been stuck underground since Sunday.
Larochelle said the miners went underground Sunday at 7 a.m. to begin their shifts. At 11:30 a.m., an incident occurred that caused damage to the shaft.
Mine rescue is on site working to get people to the surface, he added, and at this time, there are no injuries.
Larochelle said medication and food had been sent to the miners, but added he is very concerned for the employees.
In a news release, Vale said the workers are “mobilizing to exit the underground mine after the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline, following an incident in the shaft.
“The employees will exit via a secondary egress ladder system with support of Vale’s mine rescue team,” the release said.
“The incident occurred Sunday afternoon. The employees were underground at the time and immediately went to refuge stations as part of our normal procedures, and we have been in frequent communication with them since the incident.”
The company said they are doing everything they can “to ensure the safety of these employees and will provide further updates as they become available.”
Situated in Worthington, 40 kilometres west of Vale’s Copper Cliff complex, Totten Mine opened in 2014 and employs about 200 people, according to Vale’s website.
The northern Ontario mine produces copper, nickel and other precious metals. The main shaft of the mine is 4,130 feet below the surface.
This story will be updated as soon as we have more information.
Source: CTV, September 27, 2021.