Manitoba mine worker dies in accident

A Vale employee has died from a workplace accident at the company's nickel mine in northern Manitoba, officials have confirmed.

A Vale employee has died from a workplace accident at the company's nickel mining operation in northern Manitoba.

Greg Leason, 51, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the accident at Vale's T-3 mine in Thompson, Man., the company has confirmed.

Vale operates a nickel mining, milling, smelting and refining operation in Thompson, Man. A 51-year-old worker whose equipment fell into a cavern inside the underground mine on Oct. 7 died on Wednesday, the company has confirmed. ((CBC))

In a release, Vale said Leason was operating some heavy equipment inside the mine on the morning of Oct. 7.

"He was undergoing … an installation of a rock-filled bumper," Cory McPhee, Vale's vice-president of corporate affairs in Toronto, told CBC News.

"As he was setting up this barricade underground, the Scooptram — which is a load-haul dump vehicle that you operate underground — went over the edge and fell into an empty block or empty cavern."

McPhee estimated that the cavern was about 30 to 45 metres deep.

Co-workers and paramedics found Leason in the cavern and rushed him to Thompson General Hospital.

He was later transferred to Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre, where he died.

"All of us are overcome with sadness. This is a terrible loss," Lovro Paulic, one of Vale's three general managers in Manitoba, said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg's family and with the men and women who work in the Manitoba operations. Our focus and support is on Greg's family, friends and co-workers."

Leason had worked with Vale for 23 years, according to the company.

Vale says it is taking part in a joint investigation with Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health.