Mining accident
Miner falls dozens of feet underground

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 12/97) - A miner at Miramar Con Mine is recovering at Stanton Regional Hospital after he fell dozens of feet underground Wednesday afternoon.

Gary Lee, in his early 20s, is in stable condition with injuries that aren't considered life-threatening, said Ted Rutherglen, superintendent of human resources for the mine.

"We did have an accident yesterday afternoon," he said. "But we won't make any further comment."

Rutherglen wouldn't explain the nature of Lee's injuries, nor would he elaborate on the accident.

He did say, however, that the Miramar Con Mine and Mining Inspections Safety are investigating the accident.

He referred inquiries to the company's Vancouver office, where they, too, refused to comment.

Hospital officials also wouldn't comment on Lee's condition.

"Someone involved here wants to keep things confidential," said Dennis Cleaver, executive director of Stanton Regional Hospital.

Firefighters rescued Lee underground just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Mike Lowing, deputy fire chief, said firefighters have had to go underground only "a couple of times" in the past to rescue miners.

"It's not a common occurrence for us to go underground, but in situations where the person can't be moved, we go in" he said.

The Yellowknife fire department has an agreement with Miramar Con Mine to provide rescue services. Lowing said that firefighters just have to put on their safety hat and they're ready to go underground.