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UPDATE: 33 of 39 now freed from Sudbury mine

And the remainder are on the way
Totten Mine cropped

Updated Sept. 28 at 11:26 a.m.

As work continues to get stranded Vale miners to the surface, has learned that 33 miners are now above ground.

Mayor Brian Bigger confirmed the information this morning.

His report comes directly from Vale, and the mayor reported that city hall is receiving hourly updates in order to ensure that any help that can be offered by the city is arranged quickly and efficiently.

"My role as mayor is to ensure that any support that Vale and their mine rescue teams require is in place for them," Bigger said. "We're not expecting any significant challenges here, but obviously, there'll be a great relief when everyone is back on surface."

Some of the miners have now been underground for more than 48 hours, said Bigger, but he is confident that the focus is the safe rescue of all involved. "I am sure very sure that everyone in the community is watching very closely to ensure that everyone comes back to surface in a safe manner," said Bigger. "And I know they will return to extra hugs as they return to their family and friends.  I wish the miners and their families and friends peace of mind following this ordeal."

Updated Sept. 28 at 11:15 a.m.

More than 30 of the miners have now returned to the surface, has learned. More to come.

Original story:

Vale says employees continue to return to the surface at its Totten Mine in Sudbury this morning following the successful ascent of several individuals overnight.

On Sunday, 39 employees were unable to exit the mine due to damage in the shaft that houses the conveyance used to transport employees between surface and underground, the press release said. While conditions in the shaft were evaluated, employees reported to underground refuge stations as part of the company’s standard procedures.

Monday evening, employees started making their way to surface via a secondary egress ladderway system. Nineteen employees returned to surface early this morning and the remainder are on their way.

“We thank the impacted employees for their patience and perseverance and the mine rescue teams for their tireless dedication and support,” said Gord Gilpin, Head of Mining Operations for Vale’s Ontario Operations, in a press release. “This has been an incredible team effort.”

The remaining employees are expected to be on surface later this morning. The employees that have returned to surface are in good health and eager to return home, the press release said.

The employees’ exit is being supported by Vale’s mine rescue team and Ontario Mine Rescue.