The death of mine worker Vincent Mitton is under a coroner's inquest, presided over by Gregory Forestell, with a five-member jury.The jury has the task of determining the facts of Mitton's death and making recommendations to prevent similar accidents from occurring again. (WCxKit)
According to the Canadian Press, Mitton was struck by a pipe he was installing with such force he was tossed into a wall three meters away at PotashCorp's mine in Penobsquis. Jurors learned the emergency vehicle was kept at the underground elevator entrance, a 10 to 15-minute drive away for the accident site. (WCxKit)
Crown prosecutor Chris Titus, coroner’s counsel, questioned nine PotashCorp employees; most who were underground when the fatal accident happened. Employees reported they did everything as quickly and safely as possible but by the time Mitton was brought to the surface, about 50 minutes after the accident, his eyes were fixed and he wasn't responding.
The underground production shift supervisor and others testified there were many changes made at the mine after Mitton's death. The supervisor reported people are trained more specifically for tasks such as installing pipe, and if they are doing an infrequent job, they must get a safe work permit.
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