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Methane ignites at Cape Breton coal mine rock face, no injuries reported

The flames occurred in the so-called North Panel. Global News

A Cape Breton colliery has been issued another stop work order after a methane fire occurred as coal miners worked on the rock face Tuesday afternoon.

Harold Carroll, the provincial Labour Department’s executive director of occupational health and safety, confirms the ignition of the underground gas at the Donkin mine and says there were no injuries as a result of the flames.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia’s Donkin mine allowed limited production increase after roof collapse

He says inspectors have been sent to the mine, and work on the area where the ignition occurred has been suspended as investigations are carried out.

It’s the latest incident at the colliery operated by Kameron Coal, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Mining Corp., where a series of massive roof collapses last fall led to the temporary suspension of operations.

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The flames occurred in an area of 730 metres of rock face that the Labour Department permitted to reopen for coal mining in January after the roof falls in December.

An email from Shannon Campbell, vice president of project development at the mine, says the ignition of the methane occurred at 2:30 p.m. while cutting sandstone in the upper part of the mining face, and the resulting flames were extinguished by its employees.

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