Stephen Perry death inquest begins 2nd day at Sudbury courthouse

The inquest into the death of Sudbury Vale miner Stephen Perry continues today.
Brittany Boyd-Perry stands with her father Stephen Perry in an undated photo. The pair lived in Chelmsford.

The inquest into the death of Vale miner Stephen Perry continues in Sudbury today.

A large, framed photo of 47-year-old Perry was on display in the Sudbury courtroom yesterday morning. Perry died underground at Vale's Coleman mine in Sudbury on Jan. 29, 2012.

More than 50 people sat to hear the first witnesses testify in the inquiry of the miner's death.   

Perry died after he was hit by a 14 tonne rock that broke away from the face of the mine. The court heard from the miners who worked in the same location as Perry, the shift before his death.

They told the court the rock face seemed "normal" and "average," with no major issues.

Marc Romaniuk worked with Perry on opposite shifts.

It was Romaniuk's job to use a jumbo drill to carve away the rock, while Perry was a loader.

Romaniuk told the court of the condition of the rock face that nothing needed reporting.

He also told the court that Perry was working alone when the accident happened, and that all he had to see was a light on his helmet, which was standard.

When asked what kind of worker Perry was, Romaniuk replied, "He was excellent. I miss him."

Former mine manager Franco Cazzola told the court Perry met his expectations as an employee. Despite working with hundreds of miners, he knew Perry because he always sat in the same spot of the break room.

Cazzola described Perry as gregarious, good with a joke, and someone who wasn't shy to tell him what was going right and wrong in the mine.

The mandatory inquiry is expected to last all week. The results could lead to future recommendations.

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