The union representing employees at an Elk Valley coal mine says a contractor was killed on site Monday morning.
Fred Riehl with the United Steelworkers Local 784 confirms there was a fatality at Teck Resources’ Fording River operation northeast of Elkford.
“The contractor was operating what’s called a ‘floating excavator’ in a tailings pond,” Riehl suggests. “The excavator flipped over, trapping the individual operating it and unfortunately they passed away.”
The mine has been shutdown according to Riehl who suggests the investigation has only just begun and there are many unknowns at this time.
“These are the early stages. The Occupational Health and Safety Committee, which is made of up with the company and the union, are investigating. It is my understanding too that the RCMP are on site, but again we’re early into the investigation. I’m sure more details will come out later on.”
He suggests the investigation could take weeks.
Teck Resources explains the incident occured around 8:40 AM.
The company says it has mobilized its emergency response teams and the RCMP and B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources have been notified.
The mining company says no other employees are involved and there is no ongoing safety or environmental risk.
– United Steelworkers Local 784’s Fred Riehl