33 of 39 miners are out of Totten Mine, rest expected by midday

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33 of the 39 miners trapped underground at a mine in northern Ontario have climbed to the surface, and the rest are expected to join them by midday Tuesday.

The workers have been stuck in Totten Mine near Sudbury since Sunday afternoon when an accident damaged the elevator, known as a cage, that normally carries them in and out of the mine.

Mining company Vale announced on Monday night that it was “relieved and delighted to see these individuals returning to surface safe and sound.”

Vale spokesperson Danica Pagnutti spoke to one of the miners.

“He was in good spirits and happy to have some pizza to take home and just looking forward to getting home to his family and relaxing, but generally in really good spirits,” she said.  “The miners are all healthy and eager to go home.”

They have been climbing up a series of ladders, some from as far down as 1,200 metres, with the aid of mine rescue workers.

Ontario Mine Rescue says that some workers unable to complete the climb may be hoisted out using ropes.

“It’s been a challenge for us, but at the same time it’s been incredible to see the teamwork,” said Pagnutti.  “All our employees and mine rescue pull together for these employees to support them in their safe return.”

–with files from CBC.ca

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