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Politicians react to tragedy at Copper Cliff smelter

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Apr 07, 2014 - 11:24 AM |
 Mayor Marianne Matichuk offered condolences to the family of the 36-year-old man killed at Vale's Copper Cliff Smelter on Sunday. File photo.

Mayor Marianne Matichuk offered condolences to the family of the 36-year-old man killed at Vale's Copper Cliff Smelter on Sunday. File photo.

Thoughts, prayers for family of man who was killed

Local politicians are reacting to Sunday's tragedy at Vale's Copper Cliff smelter, which claimed the life of a 36-year-old man and left his 28-year-old co-worker with serious injuries.

“My best thoughts with the family, friends and co-workers,” Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas wrote on her Facebook page, along with a copy of the media releases from Vale and Greater Sudbury Police regarding the tragedy.

“On behalf of city council and all citizens of Greater Sudbury, I offer my condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of the individual,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a statement Monday morning. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle, a retired machinist who worked for Vale when it was still called Inco, also posted a message of condolences on his page.

“Thinking today of the Vale smelter worker killed Sunday and praying for the family and the other injured worker,” Gravelle wrote. “All of Greater Sudbury and Nickel Belt and the mining community will feel this loss.”

Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault also said he was praying for the families.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the worker killed at the Vale smelter last night,” Thibeault wrote. “It is always horrible news to wake up to something like this ... Prayers for a quick recovery to the injured worker, as well.”

In a statement, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci extended his "deepest condolences to the family of the deceased Vale worker.

"No words can ever come close to conveying the sorrow felt by the entire community with news of such a tragic event," Bartolucci said. "My thoughts are also with the injured worker and his family. I send my best wishes for a speedy recovery."

And Michael Mantha, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP and NDP Northern Development and Mines Critic, released a statement in Sudbury about the tragedy.

"On behalf of the New Democratic Caucus at Queen's Park, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the miners," Mantha said in his news release. "Yesterday's tragedy reminds us that miners work in a very dangerous job. As legislators we need to do everything in our power to ensure that mines are as safe as they can possibly be. We need to ensure that we have laws in place that protect miners and that protect all working people."

The employee who was was killed was working at the casting/crushing plant at the Copper Cliff smelter, the company said in a release Monday. The employee was found unconscious and without vital signs, and was pronounced dead on the scene by medical personnel.

Another employee was involved and is in hospital.

The name of the employee who was killed on the job is being withheld while members of his family are notified. At a press conference this morning, Kelly Strong, Vale's vice-president of Ontario and UK operations, said both workers had suffered head trauma.

The incident is being investigated by the Greater Sudbury Police, the Ministry of Labour, Vale and the United Steelworkers Local 6500.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer


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