Remembering Westray

On this day in 1992, an explosion at the Westray Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia claimed the lives of the 26 men who were underground at the time.

It was the worst mining disaster in Canada since 1958, when a series of collapses at a Springhill coal mine killed 75 men.

Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, explained to News 957 what the day means to those who work in the occupation.

“It’s a sad day in the industry, in some ways 22-years is a long time and in some ways it’s still a very short time,” said Kirby.  “It’s still an emotional day for folks in the industry.”

According to Kirby, safety in mining has improved drastically since the disaster and they’ve reduced they injury rate by 90 percent in 15 years.  He added mining is now one of the safer industries in the province.

“It’s a real commitment to the fact that the most important thing to come out of the mine is the miner,” said Kirby.

The mining industry contributes 5,500 jobs in province and generates $420 million to Nova Scotia’s economy.

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