Roof collapse significantly blocks access to Cape Breton coal mine

Donkin Mine

Provincial inspectors say a collapse at Canada's only operating underground coal mine saw about 60 square metres of roof fall into the entrance tunnel, significantly restricting access to the Cape Breton colliery.

There were no injuries in the fall, which occurred on the weekend and become public on Monday.

Scott Nauss, the province's senior director of inspection compliance, says after visiting the mine in recent days his staff has learned a slice of roof approximately 1.5 metres in depth came down.

He says that significantly blocked access to the Donkin coal mine's kilometre-long entry shaft.

The Nova Scotia Labour Department has issued an order that Kameron Collieries hire an expert to determine the cause of the latest rock falls in the mine as well as a plan to prevent a reoccurrence.

Nauss said unlike earlier rock falls closer to the rock face, last weekend's collapse is in an area supported by steel trusses, a system that had been in place since 1984.