Miners ‘fine’ but stuck at PotashCorp mine after fire

An early morning fire that trapped 20 workers underground in a PotashCorp potash mine on Tuesday has been extinguished with no injuries, the company said.

The fire at the mine at Rocanville, Sask., about 170 km northwest of Brandon, Man., was reported while 29 workers were underground, but nine were rescued by late morning, according to Bill Johnson, spokesman for Saskatoon-based PotashCorp.

The remaining 20 workers were at underground rescue stations and in contact with company officials as rescue operations continued, he said.

"They’re all safe. They appear to be just fine," he said.

The affected area of the mine remains hot and will be ventilated before rescuers can move the remaining workers to the surface.

The Rocanville mine, which has annual operational capacity of 2.7 million tonnes, is one of six owned by PotashCorp, the world’s biggest producer of the crop nutrient.

Johnson said he didn’t have details about damage to the mine or how long it might be out of production. –– Reuters