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Miners all successfully evacuated after spending night in Galena mine near Wallace

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 14, 2021

A group of miners was stuck inside the Galena mine overnight after the mine near Wallace lost power Wednesday morning.

Nearly 100 miners were underground when the mine lost power at about 7 a.m., a spokesperson for the mine told KHQ. Most of the younger miners made the mile-long climb to the surface.

Power was restored at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

All miners had made it out of the shaft as of 11 a.m., said Andrea Totino, an investor relations official with the Toronto-based Americas Gold and Silver Corp., which owns the mine.

”The power is back at the Galena Complex, and all miners are accounted for and have reached the surface safely,” Totino said in an email to The Spokesman-Review.

Tim Swallow, District 12 representative for the United Steelworkers union, said that as of about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, 40 or so miners had remained underground.

But he noted that they had access to water and food, and the mine had ventilation.

“Everyone is safe,” Swallow said. “All work has been stopped, and they are just waiting for power to be restored.”

Swallow said he understood mine officials have backup generators on site, but the elevators that bring miners up and down the main shaft remained inoperable until Avista Utilities restored power.

“This is not the first time this has happened,” Swallow said. “It has just taken longer than normal.”

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