It was back to business at PotashCorp’s Rocanville mine Thursday morning after a fire disrupted operations overnight.
Randy Burton, a spokesperson for PotashCorp, said a fire was discovered at a truck parked underground in the Scissors Creek shaft parking lot around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Emergency rescue teams responded to the call.
“It generated a lot of smoke so everyone – 87 workers – took refuge in underground refuge stations,” Burton said.
“(They) remained there until the all-clear was sounded by the emergency rescue teams who monitored the air quality over a period of hours to make sure it was safe to leave.”
While some mine workers were able to leave around 11:30 p.m., others were in for an overnight stay in a refuge station.
“It’s obviously nobody’s first choice of a place to spend the night, but the refuge stations are actually quite roomy and not uncomfortable,” Burton said, describing the rooms as large with high ceilings.
“They’re sealed off from the surrounding mine so they have their own air supply there. You can spend some time there reasonably comfortably until it’s safe to emerge.”
The last workers came up around 5:30 a.m. Thursday and work resumed in the mine an hour later.
PotashCorp doesn’t yet know what caused the fire, but Burton said the damages don’t sound extensive.
“I don’t think there’s anything salvageable in the truck – the truck was destroyed,” he said. “But as far as I’m aware, there was no damage to any mine workings and not clear if any other neighbouring vehicles were damaged at all.”
Burton said he believes the most recent fire in the Rocanville mine was in 2012.