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Scooptram fire strands 177 Lalor miners underground for hours Sept. 14

The same piece of equipment caught fire again Sept. 15, prompting second evacuation and temporary halt of mining operations.
lalor-mine
Lalor Mine in Snow Lake. 177 miners were trapped in refuge stations at the mine for hours after a scooptram caught fire Sept. 14. The same scooptram caught fire again Sept. 15.

Nearly 200 workers waited for as long as 12 hours in refuge stations after a scooptram caught fire in Hudbay’s Lalor Mine in Snow Lake Sept. 14.

Miners started being evacuated one at a time from each refuge station around 10 p.m. Wednesday night and the last of the 177 workers returned to the surface by about 1 a.m. Sept. 15.

A friend of one of the miners told CBC News that he received a text saying the workers had been in the refuge station since about noon.

Hudbay said the fire started in the rear tire of the scooptram.

The same piece of equipment caught fire again on Thursday, necessitating a second evacuation and bringing a halt to normal mine operations, which were expected to resume by Sept. 16.

Snow Lake Mayor Peter Roberts told the Winnipeg Free Press that there were fewer people in the mine when the second fire broke out because it started while staff were still monitoring the scooptram.

Hudbay will investigate the circumstances of the fire, which was reported to RCMP around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health is also investigating.

No injuries to miners were reported to have resulted from either fire, both of which were extinguished by Hudbay mine rescue teams.