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The scenarios were dire at the 62nd annual Mine Rescue Competition at the Yellowknife Field House on Saturday: a downed power line piercing a vehicle’s windshield, survivors crying for first aid and miners trapped underground.

Over the past few months, rescue teams have prepared for these harrowing possibilities and on Saturday, six of them put their emergency response skills to the test.

At the end of two days of competition, De Beers Canada’s Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine took home the overall surface mining trophy, and Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine took home the overall underground mining trophy.

“They’ve done well all through training, and here we are today,” said Richard Church, the Gahcho Kué mine’s emergency response team co-ordinator. “The mines themselves are all in remote locations, and because (of that), you need teams like this—well-trained, well-rounded individuals, hard-working and highly-skilled (people),” he said.

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Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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