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Worker missing after dozer breaks through ice at Suncor Base Plant in northern Alberta

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A dozer operator remained unaccounted for Thursday after the machine broke through the ice of a northern Alberta tailings pond Wednesday.

At around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Suncor responded to an incident at its Base Camp, which is located north of Fort McMurray.

A spokesperson with the company said a dozer broke through the ice of an inactive tailings pond. The operator is an employee of Christina River Construction, according to a spokesperson with Suncor.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and coworkers of this individual,” Erin Rees said in an email.

“Our Emergency Services team responded immediately and continues with response activities. Supporting the safety and wellbeing of our people remains our number one priority and we have activated critical incident stress debriefing resources.”

Read more: Calgary woman, Newfoundland man killed in collision at northern Alberta Suncor site

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Suncor said it has notified local authorities of the situation.

No further information was released by Suncor on Thursday.

Global News has reached out to Christina River Construction for further information.

On Friday, Suncor issued an update on the incident on its Facebook page. The company said its emergency services team continues to work with the RCMP, Occupational Health and Safety and others to try to find the operator of the dozer.

Suncor identified the missing man as Patrick Poitras.

“We are deeply saddened by this situation and our thoughts are with Patrick’s family, friends and co-workers who have been impacted by this tragic incident,” the company said. “At this time, we do not know how long the recovery process will take as response teams are dealing with challenging conditions.

“We are working as quickly as we can while prioritizing the safety of our responders.”

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