Nutrien says 34 workers trapped underground after service shaft malfunction

SASKATOON — Thirty-four maintenance workers have been trapped about a kilometre underground at Nutrien Ltd.’s Cory potash mine in Saskatchewan since Tuesday afternoon.

Company spokesman Will Tigley said Wednesday a service shaft to lift the workers out of the mine has stopped working and the company is working on a solution.

“We’re hoping that we can find a solution relatively soon here, but again it’s all determined on the safety and practicability of the options,” Tigley said.

He added the workers are safe and have plenty of food, water, power and contact with the surface.

“They are in frequent contact with ourselves, and they have access to internet down there so they are in contact with their families as well.”

Tigley said the company is looking at using a shaft used to haul potash to the surface to lift up the workers, but a final plan hasn’t been determined.

There is no estimate as to when the workers will be brought to the surface.

The Cory mine, about seven kilometres west of Saskatoon, is on summer maintenance.

In May, dozens of Nutrien workers were trapped for hours at its Allan potash mine after a fire broke out before being safely brought to the surface.


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The Canadian Press