Miners OK after being trapped overnight
Forty-one miners working at a potash mine near Vanscoy, Sask. escaped unscathed on Monday after being trapped underground for more than nine hours.
A spokesperson for Calgary-based Agrium Inc. said the miners became trapped after power failed at the mine at 11 p.m. CT Sunday and backup electrical generators failed shortly afterwards.
When the power blew, the miners got into a hoist cage to bring them to the surface. While on the lift, the backup generator powering it failed.
The employees spent two hours standing on the lift before it could be lowered back down into the mine where they spent seven more hours waiting for tests to be conducted on the generator to ensure the lift would function properly.
The miners were never in any danger and have been trained and equipped for such events, said Mike Dirham, the mine's general manager.
"The conditions were fine — they would have been in the dark, but everybody carries battery-operated lights with them at all times in the mine, so they would have had that light with them," Dirham told CBC News.
"They would have also had food, water, washroom supplies — all that stuff," he said.
There were no air-quality issues, Dirham said.
All 41 of the miners were brought back above ground at about 10 a.m.
The mine is located about 30 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.