39 miners rescued after underground fire

39 miners who had been trapped after an underground fire at a Canadian nickel mine have been rescued.

The fire occurred at Vale’s Thompson mine in Manitoba on 3:30pm Sunday night (local time).

The miners moved to refuge stations after a remotely operated load-haul-dump caught fire.

The workers waited around 12 hours for the mine to be declared safe before they were rescued from 850 metres underground.

Ryan Land, director of corporate affair for Vale’s Manitoba Operations, said there were no injuries and all workers had been accounted for.

"A fire watch has been initiated as a standard practice," said Land.

"We expect to be back to full production later today. We will carry out a joint investigation with United Steelworkers Local 6166 in order to understand the incident, continue to manage risk, and prevent recurrence. While the interruption to production and the damage to equipment are unfortunate, we are reassured that our fire and rescue procedures worked and we achieved zero harm to our people, who will be returning safely to their homes and families today."

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