Charges laid in Wolverine fatal mine collapse
Yukon Zinc Corp. and a contracting company at the Wolverine mine near Ross River, Yukon, face six charges in connection with a tunnel cave-in that killed a mechanic last year.
Six occupational health and safety charges were laid this week against Yukon Zinc and Procon Mining and Tunnelling Ltd. in the death of Procon mechanic William Fisher on April 25, 2010.
Fisher, 25, and two other Procon employees were working in a stabilized underground part of the zinc-silver mine when a wall caved in on them.
Fisher was killed after he was buried in the collapsed wall. The two other men survived, but one of them was injured.
Inspectors with the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board accuse Yukon Zinc and Procon of failing to ensure a safe workplace for its workers.
The six charges — four against Procon and two against Yukon Zinc — claim the companies failed to properly design and construct a safe work environment.
Procon still has not answered similar charges in connection with the Oct. 19, 2009, death of Paul Wentzell, another Procon employee who was working at the Wolverine mine.
Wentzell, a 20-year-old apprentice mechanic, was struck and killed by an unoccupied vehicle at the mine site.
Lawyers for Procon have said they are trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement on those charges.
There is no word on when the new charges will be heard in court.
Yukon Zinc's Wolverine property is located 200 kilometres south of Ross River and about 400 kilometres northeast of Whitehorse.