Family prepares for funeral of oilsands worker killed at Suncor

The family of an oilsands contractor who died on the job at Suncor’s Base Mine are preparing for his funeral.

'This unwanted, unfortunate tragedy ... has taken away one of the most beautiful souls from this planet'

30-year-old Sagar Patel was buried alive at Suncor’s Millenium Mine on Friday while performing trench work. (GoFundMe)

The family of an oilsands worker who died on the job at a Suncor mine outside Fort McMurray is preparing for his funeral.

Sagar Patel, 30, was buried alive at Suncor's Millennium mine Friday while performing trench work.

Patel, a contractor who worked for Edmonton-based Aecon Mining, left behind a wife and parents.

Kinnar Patel, a friend, said Sagar was like a brother to him. Kinnar, who spoke to CBC News on behalf of the family, said Patel's parents flew in from India to prepare for their son's funeral.

Final funeral arrangements have not been completed.

Kinnar has set up a fundraising campaign to help raise money for the widow of his friend. As of Monday the campaign surpassed half its fundraising goal of $100,000.

"This unwanted, unfortunate tragedy [that] happened in Fort McMurray has taken away one of the most beautiful souls from this planet," Kinnar wrote on the fundraising site.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is no longer on the scene but spokesperson Trent Bancarz said OHS is still reviewing the case. Bacarz said OHS has up two years to complete its investigation. 

Follow David Thurton, CBC's Fort McMurray correspondent, on FacebookTwitter or contact him via email.

About the Author

David Thurton

David Thurton is CBC's mobile journalist in Fort McMurray. He's worked for CBC in the Maritimes & in Canada's Arctic. Email: