By Meriba Tulo – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Operations at Ok Tedi (OTML) in Western Province have been suspended, following the death of a worker late Thursday afternoon.
Sadly, the incident occurred only a week after normal operations recommenced following an eight month suspension.
Ok Tedi resumed operations on March 1st – with around 800 workers returning back onto site.
At the time, OTML CEO, Peter Graham, had outlined the mine’s immediate focus – a commitment to safety.
“Our immediate focus is to make sure we operate safely. Returning employees attend a general site induction on arrival followed by a comprehensive workplace-specific induction on the day they return to their work place. Specific work competencies are also being validated,” he said.
Sadly, the mine suffered its first casualty late Thursday afternoon.
According to a statement from OTML “At approximately 5PM (local time) on Thursday 10 March an incident occurred at the Ok Tedi Mine which has sadly resulted in the loss of life of an OTML employee.
“The incident occurred when a section of rock and dirt fell from the western wall of the mine into a sump located at the bottom of the pit. Unfortunately one of our colleagues, who was attending to pit drainage, was unable to get clear of the flowing debris.”
This morning, mine rescue personnel resumed their search for the worker’s body.
Relevant authorities have been notified, with investigations into the incident already underway.