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All 39 Trapped Canadian Miners Rescued Successfully

Last Sunday, workers at the Totten mine in Sudbury, Ontario became trapped after a heavy scoop bucket crashed into the lift system and blocked the shaft, according to Vale Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bartolomeo.

After the accident, the miners gathered at refuge stations, where they had access to food and water and remained in touch with their families and staff outside of the mine. The workers used a secondary ladder system to climb out of the mine — a journey that measured between 1,800 feet to 4,000 feet, depending how deep underground they were — with rest stops along the way.

Approximately 58 responders from Vale’s Mine Rescue team and Ontario Mine Rescue helped with the efforts that lasted two and a half days. All 39 miners were rescued successfully and are in good health, according to Vale, the company responsible for the mine. Each of them will continue to be checked in the coming days.

“We do need to move into a number of other steps to understand why this happened and make sure that we put measures in place to ensure that it never happens again, which is a process that will take time and cooperation through a joint investigation,” said Gord Gilpin, the head of mining operations for Vale in Ontario, at a press conference Wednesday.

Vale spokesperson Jeff Lewis said the final four workers who climbed to the top are in “good spirits” and “happy to be back with loved ones.”

Totten mine employs around 200 people to produce copper, nickel and precious metals.

Image source: NBC News

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