‘Something wasn’t right’ — Sudbury inquest [mining deaths] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 23, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Two of the last men to see Jordan Fram alive testified about their encounters with him on the third day of the coroner’s inquest into his death and that of his supervisor, Jason Chenier.

Fram, 26, and Chenier, 35, were killed about 9:45 p.m. on June 8, 2011, at the 3,000-foot level of Vale’s Stobie Mine, near the No. 7 ore pass. They were overcome by an uncontrolled run of 350 tons of muck.

There are two divisions at Stobie. Luke St. Amand was a supervisor at division A, which was sharing the no. 7 ore pass that day with division B, where Chenier and Fram were working.

St. Amant was working the day the men were killed and had met Chenier on surface. He testified Chenier didn’t say anything about water, although Chenier had sent two emails to superiors about hazards in the days before the tragedy.

He and Chenier didn’t talk about double barricades, said St. Amant, although Chenier had mentioned in his emails they had been erected to block unsafe areas, the inquest has heard.

St. Amant said two miners were mucking that evening, moving loads of broken rock and liquid into the No. 7 ore pass, Fram on the B side and Rick Proulx on the A. He told each man the other was working in the area.

St. Amant did a walkabout about 7 p.m. at the 2,400-foot level to check a blocked drain. Near a vent door, he saw a pool of water about 15 feet in diameter and three feet deep near a drain hole. The blocked hole was worked on Tuesday night, but remained a problem.

St. Amant said he met Fram on the 2,600-level, where Fram was operating a scoop tram, and the men chatted.

Under questioning by coroner’s counsel Susan Bruce, St. Amant said he and Fram talked “about fun stuff” and shared a couple of laughs. The inquest has heard Fram was a man with a broad smile and a good sense of humour.

St. Amant choked up and paused in his testimony before telling the inquest Fram had asked if he could borrow St. Amant’s Jeep. The A supervisor lent it to him and saw him head up the ramp toward the No. 7 ore pass.

St. Amant later received a radio call from Chenier, asking if he had seen Fram, and saying the younger miner wouldn’t be mucking at 2,600-foot level.

Soon after, St. Amant received a radio call from Roger Chartrand, a member of Chenier’s crew.

“Roger said, ‘come down and see me,'” St. Amant testified. When he said he would be there in a bit, Chartrand urged him to hurry.

St. Amant got a tractor and drove down the ramp to 3,000. As he was approaching it, he saw Chartrand pacing back and forth, flailing his arms. St. Amant, who hasn’t worked at Stobie since that night and now works at other duties, said it took three minutes to get from 2,600 to 3,000. The scoop tram Fram had been operating earlier was idling and the Jeep was there.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2015/04/23/something-wasnt-right–sudbury-inquest