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Saskatchewan potash miners safe after fire at Agrium’s Vanscoy operation

by Greg Klein | February 15, 2014

Over 50 Saskatchewan underground workers surfaced safely February 15 after a fire trapped them overnight in Agrium’s TSX:AGU Vanscoy mine, Canadian Press reports. The news agency says the blaze started on a scoop tram the previous night. Workers waited out the ordeal in refuge shelters stocked with food, water and emergency supplies.

Trapped Saskatchewan potash miners safe after fire at Agrium’s Vanscoy operation

“They’re a self-contained shelter,” CP quoted the mine’s general manager, Mike Dirham. “They just need to go in and close the doors and wait for emergency response personnel.”

Even after firefighters doused the blaze the trapped miners waited hours longer for the mine to ventilate. No injuries were reported.

In July a 25-year-old man died while erecting a scaffold at the mine. A May 2010 accident killed another Vanscoy worker.

In September 2012, 20 PotashCorp TSX:POT workers spent 17 hours trapped by a fire at the Rocanville mine in Saskatchewan. In a statement at the time the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union said, “The potash industry has seen more than 50 fatalities in Saskatchewan since its inception in the late 1950s.”

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