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Update: Mine workers injured in bus crash near Campbell River

Dec 16 2011

Almost all the miners on board a bus en route from the Nystar Myra Falls mine to Campbell River were hurt when the coach went off the road Wednesday and rolled on its side.

Thirteen miners and the driver were on the bus, which takes workers to the mine 90 kilometres west of Campbell River in Strathcona Park each morning and back again at the end of the work shift.

About 6:45 p.m., the bus hit a snow squall and went off Highway 28, about 15 minutes from Campbell River, said the mine’s human resources manager, Dave Keiver.

Twelve people, including the driver, were taken to hospital. Ten were released Wednesday night but two were kept in hospital for observation overnight, Keiver said. Their injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

The driver of a second bus also transporting employees heard about the accident and doubled back. Almost all employees have first-aid training, Keiver said, so many were able to provide initial help to their colleagues until emergency vehicles from Campbell River arrived on the scene.

About 300 people work at the underground copper, zinc and gold mine.

Campbell River RCMP Cpl. Scott Rennie said at this point the crash is attributed to road conditions.

“That’s the impression at this point, but we have yet to talk to all witnesses,” Rennie said.