About 100 residents of a northern Ontario city that is no stranger to mine rescues gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil as all 33 trapped Chilean miners were finally rescued.
As the Chilean miners were being rescued after 69 days trapped underground, Timmins residents gathered at the miner's memorial site.
Robert Calhoun of the Miners Memorial Committee says members of mine rescue crews from Timmins and Sudbury, Ont., spoke to the crowd.
Calhoun says some Chileans were among those who attended and they demonstrated the cheer that rescue workers in Chile were doing each time another miner reached the surface.
Beginning at midnight Tuesday, and sometimes as quickly as every 40 minutes, the entombed Chilean miners were brought to the surface in a small capsule.
Calhoun says Timmins has had its share of mine accidents in the past and the community appreciated the support shown by those outside of the area during those trying times.
Mayor Tom Laughren said that as a mining community Timmins officials felt it was important to show their support for the trapped miners and the rescuers.
In February 1928, 39 miners died in a fire in the Hollinger Mine in Timmins.
Hundreds of miners escaped to the surface, but many of those who were trapped died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
There was an inquiry into the disaster and Calhoun says "the next year mine rescue was started here in Ontario in Timmins."
Rescue crews were pressed into service in Timmins as recently as last week when a small fire occurred in the Kidd Creek mine.
"It was a fire at a diamond drill," Calhoun said, but it took two rescue crews working in shifts to extinguish the blaze.