[Vale] Thompson miners safe after underground fire – by Lara Schroeder and Peter Chura (Global News – April 6, 2015)


WINNIPEG – All of the miners who were stuck underground after a fire broke out in a Thompson, Man., nickel mine have safely returned to the surface.

The eight miners who were still waiting to be rescued Monday afternoon were safely pulled out by 1:25 p.m., mine owner Vale Inco said.

The fire trapped 39 miners in the Vale Inco nickel mine in Thompson, Man., Sunday night.

The 39 mine employees moved to “refuge stations” after a remotely operated piece of equipment called LHD (load-haul-dump) caught fire at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the company’s T1 mine, Vale spokesman Ryan Land said in a news release Monday.

Shanda Skode of Penticton, B.C., said her husband was trapped overnight and she wasn’t happy with the way the company handled the situation.

‘They called me six hours after he was supposed to be back on the surface,” she said. Her husband, who she preferred not to name, was supposed to surface at 5 p.m. CT Sunday, and she worried when he didn’t text her as usual and she couldn’t contact him.

“For six hours, I didn’t know where he was,” she said. “I didn’t like how they don’t call the family members.”

Her husband was back at the surface by early afternoon, Skode said. He’s a carpenter and he’s never worked in a mine before, she said — and if she had her way, he’d never go back down.

“After this, I told him he’s coming home,” she said. “I don’t feel safe at all.”

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