Search For Trapped Miner Into Third Day

Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 16:13



It has now been 48 hours since a worker at a northern Saskatchewan gold mine became trapped beneath the surface — and the company that owns the mine still doesn’t know if he is dead or alive.


Claude Resources CEO Neil McMillan has flown to the Seabee Mine to get a first-hand look at the ongoing search and rescue operation.


McMillan says the miner, who has been identified as 29-year-old Corey Braaten, is at a location about 800 metres beneath the surface.


The scoop tram Braaten was operating has been spotted, and McMillan says the company now knows where he is — the main obstacle is blasting through the rocks that are in the way.


McMillan explains the various sizes of the boulders is the biggest obstacle rescue workers are up against — since different-sized rocks need a variety of equipment to move them.


McMillan adds the 12-member rescue team is still proceeding under the assumption the trapped miner is alive.


He says they are working around-the-clock in “highly controlled conditions”, and insists the likelihood of a rockfall during the rescue is remote.


McMillan notes the rescue operation involves tasks members of the rescue team perform regularly in their normal duties at the mine.


McMillan says the trapped miner should have enough air, and there are no concerns about the temperature at his location. However, the company doesn’t know whether Braaten has any water with him, or whether he was injured or killed when the accident took place.


McMillan also refuses to speculate on what may have caused the accident.