Sudbury Accent: Mine rescue draws the best and brightest – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – June 11, 2016)

A mine rescue team at Fecunis Mine near Onaping has been called by mine management to stand by while a new emergency warning system is tested underground. All workers in the mine are expected to report in when a warning is sounded, but on this occasion three fail to do so.

No one is alarmed because the miners may not have smelled the stench gas released as warning when something goes wrong underground or heard the siren that was sounded. The mine rescue team forms two parties of three to search for the missing miners.

As they enter the mine, they are alarmed at the sound of an explosion. One of the three missing miners detonated a development blast when he shouldn’t have. The team meets the miner who tells them he blasted a round. He then tried to switch on a 36-inch diameter fan to clear gas from the blasted area, but it wouldn’t start, so he decided to exit the mine.

The search party and the miner leave, but the situation has been upgraded to emergency because gases from the blast are contaminating the mine. The team is asked by management to go into emergency mode, so members don masks and other equipment before setting off to investigate.

The team searches and finds the two miners who didn’t report. They were working on a fan in another area of the mine when the blast occurred. When the development miner tried to start the fan where he was, he accidentally triggered the second fan, and one of the two workers there became tangled in the blades.

The trapped miner is asking for help and his partner is in shock. Mine rescuers extricate the man from the fan and send him to hospital by ambulance. His partner is also taken to hospital suffering from the emotional trauma of witnessing the incident

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