Saskatchewan

Fire at Saskatchewan potash mine sends workers scrambling for shelter

Dozens of workers had to spend the night about one kilometre underground after a fire at a PotashCorp mine in southeastern Saskatchewan.

87 workers spend night in underground shelter stations

PotashCorp's mine east of Rocanville, Sask., the site of a fire on Wednesday, opened in the late 1960s. Mining operations take place 960 metres underground. (Trevor Bearance)

Dozens of workers had to spend the night about one kilometre underground after a fire at a PotashCorp mine in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Randy Burton, a company spokesman, says the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in a small truck sitting in an underground lot near a main shaft at their Rocanville operation, about 230 kilometres east of Regina.

He says emergency crews quickly put out the fire, which generated a lot of smoke that forced 87 workers to take shelter in refuge stations located throughout the mine.

Burton says no one was injured and the workers came to the surface in stages, starting around 11:30 p.m. CST, with the last group coming up shortly before 5:30 a.m.

Normal mining operations resumed later in the morning.

There's no damage estimate and no immediate word on what caused the fire.

now