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Macdiarmid Tunnel

Macdiarmid Station Macdiarmid Tunnel Postagoni River Bridge

The Macdiarmid Tunnel, also known as Jumbo’s Cove Tunnel, is located just south of the communities of Macdiarmid/Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishnabek at Milepost 37.1/86.8.

It is one of the largest tunnels in eastern Canada at 1058 feet long. The two portals and portions of the southern end are encased with concrete and the unfinished appearance suggests more work was intended to be done.

During the early stages of construction of the tunnel, a tragic accident occurred. On January 16, 1912, workers were drilling into the rock to place more explosives for the next round of blasting. One group unfortunately hit a previous, misfired charge, which caused it to detonate. The resulting explosion killed two Finnish workers, J. Ranto and O. Henderson, and seriously injured five others (death records list the names as John Rantz and Oscar Hendrickson, with Hendrickson being Swedish). The survivors were taken to Nipigon for treatment, while the two deceased men were buried just to the south of the tunnel, on a point alongside the Postagoni River.

 

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