Twenty-nine workers trapped underground for more than 35 hours at a mine in Canada now face a grueling 10-hour climb to reach the surface.
“The climb has begun,” Jeff Lewis, a spokesman for Vale, the Brazilian company that owns the mine, was quoted as saying Toronto Star. “We expect all 39 to surface tonight.”
Workers at the Totten mine in Sudbury, Ontario, were trapped nearly a kilometer underground on Sunday after a scoop bucket fell and lodged themselves in the shaft. As a result, the transport system normally used to bring mine workers to the surface could not be used. The mining company said in a statement that all workers were safe, injured and had access to food, water and medicine.
A ladder system installed as a backup is being used to rescue the workers. “In collaboration with Vale’s Mine Rescue Team, the workers will be evacuated via a secondary egress ladder system,” the company said.
However, he had to supply additional support to climb safely, reported Toronto Star. “We have harnesses for people to wear and what we’re doing is using them to assist with their evacuation so they don’t fall off the ladder,” said Sean Rideout, Chief Mine Rescue Officer for Ontario Mine Rescue. Being told by the news site.
According to the news organization’s report, the miners had climbed about 960 meters by 9 p.m. local time and the organization expects four mines before the mine.
United Steelworkers, a union that represents 30 of the 39 workers trapped, said it was cautiously optimistic that all miners would be evacuated safely.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his thoughts were with the miners.
“We understand this rescue will take some time and it is very relieved to hear that miners are currently injured,” he tweeted.
Kalem McSween, a spokesman for the province’s Ministry of Labor, Training and Skills Development, told the AP that an inspection team would investigate the incident once the rescue operation is over.
Additional reporting by the stars
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Canada