Canadian Manufacturing

Underground fire at Saskatchewan potash mine sparks scramble for shelter

No one was injured, but dozens of workers spent the night in refuge stations one kilometre underground



ROCANVILLE, Sask.—Dozens of workers had to spend the night about one kilometre underground after a fire at a PotashCorp mine in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Randy Burton, a company spokesman, says the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in a small truck sitting in an underground lot near a main shaft at their Rocanville operation, about 230 kilometres east of Regina.

He says emergency crews quickly put out the fire, which generated a lot of smoke that forced 87 workers to take shelter in refuge stations located throughout the mine.

Burton says no one was injured and the workers came to the surface in stages, starting around 11:30 p.m., with the last group coming up shortly before 5:30 a.m.

Normal mining operations resumed later in the morning.

There’s no damage estimate and no immediate word on what caused the fire.

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