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Six Canadian miners trapped underground have been climbing to surface on ladder since Sunday


Six Canadian miners trapped two miles underground have been climbing to surface on a ladder since SUNDAY after elevator cage broke down

  • 39 miners were trapped in a Canadian mine on Sunday 
  • An ‘elevator’ that brings them to surface detached and blocked the mine shaft 
  • The company – Vale – said Tuesday afternoon that 33 have been rescued 
  • Trapped miners have to climb a ladder up to about two miles long 
  • Those who can’t or reach exhaustion will be pulled up by ropes 
  • Officials told Canadian news outlets that they expect all 39 miners to be rescued by Tuesday night 


Six of 39 miners are trapped two miles underground after a scoop bucket that brings them to the surface detached and blocked a Canadian mine shaft early Sunday morning. 

The trapped workers in Vale’s Totten mine in Sudbury, Ontario, went to refuge stations – as part of protocol – where there is food and water and the ability to contact loved ones, the company Vale said in a statement on Monday.  

By Tuesday afternoon, only six miners remained underground. 

One of the first miners out told CTV News that he was higher up than others so his trek up the ladder to safety was shorter. 

The miner, who wasn’t named, said he was at the 1,850-foot level when he began to climb and it took him about two hours and 50 minutes, with breaks about every 40 feet and take a breather on one of the landing areas.   

‘It’s a trek. It’s hard on the arms,’ he told CTV News. ‘It wasn’t like a cave-in or anything like that. No buddy was in harm’s way. It was just long, but we stayed positive. 

‘We cracked jokes and stuff like that. We have a telephone so we can contact our loved ones so it made it a lot easier.’ 

Scroll down for video. 

The Totten Mine near Sudbury, Ontario, which is pictured here, produces copper, nickel and previous metals

In total, 39 miners were trapped under in a Canadian mind on Sunday

In total, 39 miners were trapped under in a Canadian mind on Sunday

Since Sunday, 19 of the 39 miners have be successfully retrieved without injury

Since Sunday, 19 of the 39 miners have be successfully retrieved without injury

It’s unclear how long food and water would last, but one of the miner’s wives – Sharon Domik – was concerned about her husband who was more than 3,000 feet down. 

She told CTV News that Vale’s statements that they were  being fed were exaggerated. 

‘The truth of the matter is the fact they received a bag of chocolate bars, energy bars,’ Domik said in a message to CTV News.

‘That is not a healthy, well-balanced meal to provide energy to those men who have to climb up 3,100 feet to safety. I am very concerned.’

The rescue operation have been underway and already successfully retrieved 33 of the miners without injuries, Vale said in a company statement Tuesday afternoon. 

General concept of the trek miners had to climb to get out of the mine shaft that extends about two feet down

General concept of the trek miners had to climb to get out of the mine shaft that extends about two feet down

Miners have to make their way up a ladder up to about two miles long to get to safety.  

Vale spokesperson Danica Pagnutti told the Canadian news outlet CBC that the ladder system that has multiple resting stations along the way.

Miners who are unable to climb make the long ladder ascent or reach exhaustion will be pulled up using ropes. 

‘We’re going to haul them out using ropes,’ Shawn Rideout, of Ontario Mine Rescue, told CTV News.

‘So that’s something that we train for all the time in Ontario Mine Rescue. It’s the safest possible way to make sure all 39 come to surface in as good a shape as they were when they went down Sunday morning.’ 

Vale’s Senior Specialist and Media Relations Jeffrey Lewis told mywesinipissingnow.com that he expects all the minors to reach safety by Tuesday night. 

The Totten Mine opened in 2014, in Worthington, Ontario, and produces copper, nickel and precious metals. It employs about 200 people. 

In the first six months of 2021, Totten mine produced 3,600 tons of finished nickel, according to Vale.  

Vale's full statement on Monday

Vale’s full statement on Monday

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