With its specialized equipment, an Abitibi-based drilling company helped free two workers trapped in an underground mine in the Dominican Republic for 10 days.
• Also read: Rescue of two minors trapped underground for 10 days
“It’s pretty rare that we’re lucky enough to be able to save people with what we do. You just can’t refuse,” says Sylvain Desrosiers, General Foreman at Machines Roger International.
Last week he and his colleagues assisted in an operation to free two workers trapped for 10 days at a copper and zinc mine in the Dominican Republic.
Gregores Mendez and Carlos Yepez Ospina were cut off from all contact with the surface on July 31 after a landslide at this mine some 80 km north of the capital Santo Domingo.
Shortly after the accident, a Canadian mining company working on the site contacted Machines Roger International, a Val D’Or company specializing in drilling large-diameter holes, to ask for help.
The company’s operations manager, Christian St-Amour, was quick to accept the request, although it was a first for the company.
The Canadian Forces (CAF) were called in as they have the only aircraft capable of transporting their 27,000 kg equipment.
Photo from Anita Anand’s Twitter
Military aircraft were the only ones capable of carrying the required 27,000 kg of equipment.
“It’s not every day you get the chance to board a CAF plane. It’s something grandiose,” recalls Mr. St-Amour.
– Listen to Alexandre Dubé’s interview with Christian St-Amour, Operations Manager of Machine Roger International, on QUB radio:
When the team arrived on site on August 7, workers were already busy digging a bypass tunnel to reach the two miners.
However, this technique poses significant health risks for the people in the mine due to the gases released when explosives are used.
The Quebec drillers used their machines to dig a vertical tunnel 33 meters above the two miners.
“Our hole was used to be able to transport breathing apparatus and protective equipment to the two miners to protect them during the blast,” explains Mr. St-Amour.
Photo courtesy of Machines Roger International
Their machines made it possible to quickly dig a 33-meter vertical tunnel to transport the equipment to the miners.
If the foreground had not gone as planned, the opening of the hole would have widened enough to free the workers from their precarious position.
“The ground conditions in this section of the mine are quite extreme, they may not progress with the tunnel,” explains Mr. St-Amour.
A hundred Dominican experts and technicians participated in the rescue.
The miners said in a video that they had good conditions underground.
“We slept comfortably, it made the stay less difficult [même si] The first days were complicated,” said Carlos Yepez Ospina.
– With AFP
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