Friends recall fallen miner as 'tough, but soft'
Steve Perry hailed from Corner Brook, N.L., and worker for Vale in Sudbury for 16 years
As the Sudbury mining community grieves in the aftermath of a fatal mining accident Sunday, friends are speaking out about the man they knew.
Vale employees Richard Bangs and Marcel Poirier worked alongside Steven Perry for almost a decade.
"It’s not a pleasant feeling at all … [I’m] heartbroken," said Marcel Poirier, who worked on the same crew as Steve Perry for eight years. "It's the loss of a friend."
Poirier said Perry was the same with everyone.
"You know, he wouldn't hop on any different foot, whether you were the Queen of England or you were just an average Joe," he said.
Perry had a tough exterior, softened by a father's heart, said Richard Bangs.
"He had lots of love for his daughter," Bangs said. "He had a certain way when he talked about her ... there was a certain way that he came across that [she] was the most important thing in his life."
A life that was cut short last Sunday after fallen rock overtook him at Vale’s Coleman Mine in Levack.
Perry was from Corner Brook, N.L. and started with Vale, in Sudbury, 16 years ago.
Operations at all five Vale mines in the area have been suspended as the company takes a "safety pause." An investigation by the company, United Steelworkers Union, Greater Sudbury Police Service and the Ministry of Labour is underway.
While the company said it's using this time to step back and refocus on safety, so are its employees.
"I’m just gonna do the best I can, try and work safe for myself and my family and my co-workers," said Bangs, who is close to retirement.