Newfoundlander identified as dead man at Suncor site

Published on January 21, 2014

Fort McMurray, Alta. (CP) — RCMP say the death of a former Newfoundlander, who was found in a dumping area at the Suncor oilsands site in northern Alberta is not suspicious.

The Edmonton Journal reported Tuesday night, officers found Jerry Cooper, a 40-year-old St. John’s man, who resided in Fort McMurray, after responding to a call about a missing person.

Police say he was buried in sand as the result of a workplace accident.

Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says a search began Sunday morning when Cooper didn’t show up for a meeting and wasn’t answering his radio.

She says Cooper was found submerged in an area of the sand dump — a mixture of sand and water — at the mine site’s extraction area. He was pronounced dead.

Cooper had worked for Suncor for 13 years, Seetal said, adding he was a tailings operator.

She says a Suncor official has met with Cooper’s family and has extended condolences to them.

Occupational health and safety officials are involved in the police investigation.