An official with Vale, Gord Gilpin, said in a statement Monday night that the first of the miners had been rescued, adding the company was “relieved and delighted to see these individuals returning to surface safe and sound.”
On Monday afternoon, a Vale spokesperson confirmed the rescue crew had reached the miners and is starting the ascent. The company expects everyone to reach the surface by Monday night.
“We have learned that no one is injured, which is our number one concern,” Vale spokesperson Jeffrey Lewis said in an email.
“The miners have had and continue to have access to water, food and medicine.”
The company said the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline following an incident in the shaft on Sunday afternoon.
It confirmed that employees will exit the mine through a secondary egress ladder system with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team.
When the incident took place, the employees underground immediately went to refuge stations as part of what Vale called its “normal procedures.”
“We have been in frequent communication with them since the incident,” the company said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these employees.”
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On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s relieved to hear the miners are uninjured.
“Our thoughts are with the 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury as rescue teams work to get them safely above ground,” Ford tweeted.
Timmins—James Bay MP Charlie Angus also said he’s praying for the safety of the mining workers.
“Let’s get everyone home,” he said.