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May 7, 2012

Worker dies at gravel quarry near Fort McMurray, Alta.

A 29-year-old man has been killed while working at a gravel quarry north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

“A worker was conducting maintenance on gravel sorting equipment, when a chain broke and struck the worker,” said Barrie Harrison, spokesperson for Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). The incident happened on the morning of April 29, when the man was working for Hammerstone Corporation, the owner and operator of a limestone quarry in the Athabasca oilsands region of Alberta, about 60 km north of Fort McMurray.

“We are not providing any details in terms of the accident, but I can confirm that it did happen at our Hammerstone site,” said Terry Owens, company president.

“It happened in conjunction with the movement of a conveyor,” he said.

Harrison said it isn’t yet known whether the man passed away in hospital or at the scene.

He said OH&S issued a stop work order at the site on all rigging equipment and any moving conveyors. The authority is currently investigating the incident.

“At this point, we can’t release the name of the employee,” said Owens.

“Our focus is currently on our close knit family group of employees here and the family of the deceased employee.”

The Hammerstone project is part of an expansion of the existing Muskeg Valley Quarry, which has 1,200 acre footprint.

The project is an integrated operation with three components: the expanded aggregate quarry, a lime processing facility and a spent lime/gypsum return facility.

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