Rescue of 39 miners trapped underground since Sunday underway, no one injured: Vale

SUDBURY, Ont. – The rescue of 39 miners trapped underground for more than 24 hours following an incident at a mine in northern Ontario was underway Monday afternoon, their employer said.

Mining company Vale said a rescue team had reached the workers, who were in several different “refuges” between 900 and 1,200 metres underground at Totten Mine, located about 40 kilometres west of Sudbury, Ont. No one was injured.

“We expect everyone to reach the surface by tonight,” Vale said in a statement.

The company said the trapped miners have had access to food, water and medicine.

Vale said the incident happened when a scoop bucket being sent underground Sunday afternoon detached, blocking the mine shaft.

As a result, it said the “conveyance system” for taking workers to and from the surface is unavailable.

“The employees will exit via a secondary egress ladder system with support of Vale’s mine rescue team,” the company said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his thoughts were with the miners.

“We understand this rescue will take some time and are very relieved to hear the miners are currently uninjured,” he said on Twitter.

Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ont. – the first mine to open in the area in 40 years, according to the company’s website.

The mine produces copper, nickel and precious metals and employs about 200 people.

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