The company president said: International support for the miner rescue operation, including from Canada.


According to the president of the company at the center, the successful rescue of two miners trapped in a mine in the Dominican Republic for more than a week was made possible thanks to support from the international community, including including direct support from the Royal Canadian Air Force. of the incident.

Paul Marinko, head of the Dominican Mining Corporation called Cormidom, said Canada played a key role in shipping the final equipment used to help free the men from Operation Cerro de. Maimon.

The miners’ ordeal saw Gregores Mendez and Carlos Yepez spend 10 days trapped 31 meters below the surface from July 31 to August 9.

Marinko said domestic support for the rescue effort was strong, with Dominican President Luis Abinader calling every day to check on the status of the rescue and various government agencies providing direct support. On the ground.

However, he said experts from the US, Canada and the UK were also involved, and the Canadian government played a key role in gathering and providing equipment for the rescue operation.

“It was heartwarming to actually see that response,” Marinko said in an interview with Zoom.

Marinko said the company shook hands immediately after the “fall to the ground” incident that left miners confined to a 400-square-foot space. Within 15 hours of the incident, he said crews involved in the rescue made a hole through which they provided water, food, walkie-talkies, entertainment and a light source.

However, Marinko said the experience would have been horrifying for the two men.

Mining workers eventually reported waist-high water levels, but Marinko says they were able to pump the water out at six times the flow rate.

“You can imagine being trapped, seeing the water rise and knowing that the rescue won’t be quick. So they went through some scary moments,” he said.

After assessing what equipment would be needed to safely rescue the miners, Marinko said the company has begun trying to track it down overseas.

Machines Rogers International, a mining company based in Val D’Or, Que. agreed to lend Cormidom the necessary machinery, and the Dominican government contacted Ottawa for assistance in transporting the equipment.

“The problem for us is shipping… beyond our resources, we just don’t have the capacity to do it,” says Marinko.

The Royal Canadian Air Force transported the mining system to the Dominican capital Santo Domingo on August 7. Two days later, the miners were rescued with assistance from a team led by Machines Rogers International. dispatched.

Defense Minister Anita Anand issued a tweet on Tuesday thanking Royal Canadian Air Force personnel who participated in the mission.

“To our pilots – you make Canadians proud and we are so grateful for your service,” Anand wrote.

Marinko said the two miners were discharged from the hospital on Thursday and are now staying with their families.

The rescue comes after a coal mine collapse in Mexico trapped 15 miners, five of whom were injured when escaping. First attempts by rescue divers to reach the remaining 10 miners failed, Mexican authorities said on Thursday.

“I think of the poor men trapped in Mexico,” Marinko said. “We were lucky.”

The cause of the incident at Cerro de Maimón is currently under investigation and the underground mine is temporarily closed.

“When the authorities and more importantly, when I am satisfied that it is safe, we will go back,” Marinko said.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on August 14, 2022.

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