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One death, two injuries in mud rush incident at New Afton mine near Kamloops

Two New Gold employees received non-life threatening injuries and received medical care, while one contract driller is presumed to be deceased, according to the company.

One person died and two others were injured in an incident at New Gold’s New Afton mine early Tuesday morning (Feb. 2).

The company said the death and injuries occurred during an underground mudslide at the copper and gold mine 10 kilometres west of Kamloops at about 1:40 a.m.

“Two New Gold employees received non-life threatening injuries and received medical care, while one contract driller is presumed to be deceased,” New Gold said in a statement, noting names of those involved in the incident will not be released until next of kin have been notified.

New Gold said the on-site emergency management system has been activated and the RCMP and the provincial safety authorities were immediately notified and are on site. All activities have been suspended while the company and authorities investigate the incident.

“The thoughts of the board of directors and management are with the family, friends and colleagues that have been impacted by this unfortunate incident,” the company said in a statement.

Minister of Mines Bruce Ralston said the chief inspector of mines has initiated an investigation into the incident.

“I send my sincerest condolences to the individual’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” he said in a statement released Tuesday.

Kamloops RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said members of the Kamloops rural detachment are at the site as of Tuesday morning.

She said police were called at 2:24 a.m. to help fire and ambulance crews at the mudslide in the 4000-block of the the Trans-Canada Highway.

Both the RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating.