SUDBURY, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earlier this morning around 4:45 a.m., all remaining workers were evacuated from the Totten Mine, outside of Sudbury. All rescue crew members made it up safely to the surface, ending a two and a half-day mission.
“We are immensely grateful for the tireless work of the rescue crews who helped bring everyone up safely,” said Nick Larochelle, United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 6500 president, representing 30 of the 39 workers who were stuck underground. “In Sudbury, we have some of the best rescue crews in the entire world – workers who voluntarily train on an ongoing basis, in case an emergency like this ever happens. Our union and the entire Sudbury community thanks them for their service.”
Many of the rescue crew members made four trips per shift, carrying heavy packs of supplies to ensure miners had any necessities during the ordeal. As miners and rescue crew members emerged, they were checked by medical staff and will be screened again in the coming days.
“Unions have made important advances in mining safety over decades, which is part of why miners found safety underground and were able to be brought to the surface safely,” said Marty Warren, USW District 6 (Ontario and Atlantic) Director.
“When something like this happens, our heart stops for a moment – not just in Sudbury but in mining communities across the country and around the world,” said Warren. “Mining is much safer than it once was. This work builds entire northern communities, but miners take a great deal of risk every time they go underground. We must never forget that.”
The union expresses its appreciation to the miners, their families, the mine rescue crew members, Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR), the community of Sudbury and members of the media who shared stories of the mine rescue.