DAILY NEWS Jan 20, 2014 11:18 AM - 0 comments

Suncor Energy reports employee fatality at its oilsands site

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Fort McMurray, AB – Suncor Energy Inc. reports there was an employee fatality at its oilsands site on January 19, 2014. Suncor Emergency Services personnel responded to a request for service after an employee was unable to be located.

Suncor immediately activated its emergency response plan, began full-scale search operations and notified the RCMP and Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. The employee was located a few hours later and was declared deceased at the scene.

"We extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers. They are certainly in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time," said Mark Little, Suncor executive vice-president, Upstream.

The employee's immediate family members have been notified and Suncor's human resources team has initiated grief counselling activities for family and co-workers of the employee. No other employees were involved.

Suncor said it is working with the appropriate authorities and will complete a full investigation into the cause of the incident.

Updated Jan. 21, 2014: The victim is Jerry Cooper, 40, a 13-year veteran of Suncor Energy. The tailings operator was found dead in a pool of sand and water, submerged in soft ground at a sand dump at Suncor’s base plant, its main oilsands site.

He had gone to check on a pipeline leak around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, and did not return for his shift change at 7 a.m. Suncor employees then started looking for him. He was found just before 11 a.m.

The RCMP is investigating the death.

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