The BC Coroners Service confirmed Tuesday a worker has died in a mining accident near Kamloops, B.C., and the mine owner reports two other workers were also hurt.
A statement from Toronto-based New Gold said the three workers at the New Afton gold and copper mine were hit by a flow of mud debris early Tuesday.
A person the company describes as a contract driller was killed and the New Gold statement said two of its employees have non-life-threatening injuries.
Sarah Morris with BC Emergency Health Services confirmed seven paramedic crews were called just after 2 a.m., and transferred two patients for further care.
She says both workers were released from hospital.
An RCMP spokeswoman says police secured the scene and are investigating to determine if there is anything criminal about the incident, while the coroner and WorkSafeBC are also at the scene.
The New Gold statement said further information could be released later and work at the mine was halted during the investigation.
Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation, said in a statement that he was saddened to hear of the tragic incident.
“A contractor was one of three workers at the mine who became trapped by an unexpected underground mudslide,” Ralston said.
He said the mine was familiar to him because it was one of the first sites he visited at the start of his tenure as minister.
“I send my sincerest condolences to the individual's family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
New Afton is an open pit and underground mine that employs about 500 people and has been producing an average of 85,000 ounces of gold and 75 million pounds of copper annually since it opened in 2012.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2021.
- With files from CHNL