Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Patrick Critch passed away at Mills Memorial Hospital Aug. 2 in Terrace following injuries received in an accident at the Brucejack mine July 31. (Contributed photo)

The employee killed following an incident at Brucejack Mine north of Stewart July 31 has been identified as Patrick Critch, 61, from Newfoundland.

RELATED: Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

Critch, the superintendent of operations at the mine, was treated at the scene and then taken to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace where he passed away Aug. 2.

In an email to The Terrace Standard, Critch’s brother, Cecil, said he had worked at mines in the Maritimes, in Ontario and in Michigan before Brucejack.

He leaves a wife, five children and grandchildren.

“He was my brother and a wonderful man who died too soon,” said his brother.

Pretivm, the company that operates Brucejack, issued a press release Aug. 2 regarding the incident.

“Our immediate focus is to support his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time,” company president Jacques Perron said in the statement.

“The safety and well-being of our employees is our topmost priority and we will investigate the incident fully.”

The Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources (EMPR) has jurisdiction over all B.C. mines, including accident and fatality investigations in or involving mines.

“We send our sincerest condolences to the individual’s family, friends and colleagues during this time of great loss,” EMPR wrote in an email to The Terrace Standard.

EMPR said the Chief Inspector of Mines has initiated an investigation into the fatality.

The investigation is conducted by the Mines Investigation Unit, a team of specialized investigative professionals located in the Mines Health, Safety and Enforcement Division of the Ministry. EMPR said the team will conduct a thorough investigation examining all available information pertaining to the incident.

EMPR was not able to release information about the investigation at this time, as it is ongoing, and said the “timeline for completion of an investigation is dependent on the amount, type and complexity of information that needs to be collected, reviewed, and analyzed.”

“The Ministry releases information related to immediate health and safety risks without waiting for an investigation to reach completion,” EMPR wrote. “As always, our top priority is the health and safety of all British Columbians.”

READ MORE: Smithers man dies at Brucejack mine

This is the second accident death connected to the Brucejack mine. In 2018, an employee of a company contracted to the mine died at a support camp 25km from the mine location.

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