Two work­ers miss­ing

Search sus­pended af­ter land­slide in gravel quarry near Mon­treal

Ottawa Citizen - - NEWS - ANNE SUTHER­LAND

MON­TREAL • A search was sus­pended Tues­day night for two work­ers who are be­lieved to have been buried in a land­slide in a gravel quarry in L’Épiphanie, the Sûreté du Québec said.

A tor­rent of earth swept along two trucks and one ex­ca­va­tion ve­hi­cle at about 11 a.m. Tues­day. The work­ers are be­lieved to be in heavy ve­hi­cles that are up­side down in the gravel.

The un­der­car­riage of one truck was vis­i­ble from above, but the other was buried deeper, said a wit­ness on site. Be­cause of the con­tin­ued in­sta­bil­ity of the walls and floor of the quarry, am­bu­lances or me­chan­i­cal dig­gers could not en­ter the vast crater to dig out the vic­tims.

Res­cuers only had ac­cess on foot, low­ered down by ropes.

Pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesman Benoît Richard said spe­cial­ists work­ing with res­cue crews rec­om­mended sus­pend­ing the search un­til morn­ing.

He said search teams need to be able to see how the gravel in the pit might shift while they worked.

Re­pentigny, Que., po­lice spokesman Bruno Marier said res­cue work­ers would at­tempt to bring heavy search equip­ment down to the site Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Ear­lier on Tues­day, a spe­cial Spi­der­man team trained to res­cue peo­ple from great heights went down ap­prox­i­mately 90 me­tres to the base of the quarry.

Fire­fight­ers from Re­pentigny, roped to­gether for safety, went down with shov­els to try to es­tab­lish con­tact with the miss­ing work­ers.

The res­cue team was armed with ther­mal im­agery machines to de­tect signs of life.

Po­lice, fire­fight­ers and at least one snif­fer dog were on site.

The Maskimo quarry is in the Lau­ren­tians, 50 kilo­me­tres east of Mon­treal. It is used to mine sand and gravel.

A third worker, who was driv­ing the ex­ca­va­tor, man­aged to es­cape. He was air­lifted out by SQ heli­copter at about 12:20 p.m. He was suf­fer­ing from frost­bite, but was not se­ri­ously in­jured, Richard said.

Ques­tions have been raised as to why the heavy ve­hi­cles were work­ing in a part of the quarry that was so un­sta­ble. The CSST will launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.


Res­cue team mem­bers search for miss­ing work­ers in a quarry at L’Epiphanie, Que., on Tues­day af­ter a land­slide swept ve­hi­cles into the quarry. Two work­ers were be­lieved to have been buried in the gravel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.