Mudslide at New Afton Mine kills worker, injures two others

·2 min read

A worker at the New Afton Mine near Kamloops was killed in a workplace accident early this morning, with two other New Gold employees receiving non-life threatening injuries.

The company reports that an underground mudslide occurred at the copper and gold mine around 1:40 a.m.

The on-site emergency management system was activated and RCMP and provincial safety authorities were notified immediately. Members of the Kamloops rural detachment were called at 2:24 a.m. to help fire and ambulance crews at the mudslide, which was located in the 4000-block of the Trans-Canada Highway.

All activity on the site will be suspended until the company and authorities investigate the incident.

“The thoughts of the board of directors and management are with the family, friends and colleagues that have been impacted by this unfortunate incident,” the company said in a statement.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation has issued a statement following the tragic loss of the contract driller.

“I was saddened to hear of the tragic incident at the New Afton mine early this morning,” said Ralston.

“A contractor was one of three workers at the mine who became trapped by an unexpected underground mudslide. While the other two were rescued and transported to hospital, the third individual is presumed dead. The New Afton Mine and those who work there are familiar to me, being one of the first sites I visited at the start of my tenure as minister,” Ralston continued.

“I send my sincerest condolences to the individual’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. Work at the mine site has been suspended and the chief inspector of mines has initiated an investigation and is in contact with RCMP and the coroner’s office. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of all British Columbians.”

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald