Officials: Miner dead in central Utah mine cave-in

Sheriff's office says 1 miner dead, another rescued after cave-in at central Utah mine

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A miner died Friday after becoming trapped in a cave-in at a central Utah coal mine, authorities said.

The Emery County Sheriff's Office said rescuers had been working to free the miner after the cave-in was reported Friday afternoon at a mine in Bear Canyon, about 10 miles west of Huntington, Utah.

Rescuers freed another miner from the cave-in earlier and took that worker to a hospital in Price. Details on that worker's condition were not immediately released.

A rescue team recovered the body of the trapped miner Friday evening, the sheriff's office said in a statement. Officials said they will release the miner's name once family members have been notified.

The mine is part of the Castle Valley Mining Complex. Messages left with the mine's operator, Rhino Resource Partners, were not immediately returned.

The company, based in Pikeville, Ky., bought the mining complex in August 2010, according to its website. It includes 26.1 million tons of coal reserves, the website says.

Jesse Lawder, a spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said preliminary information shows there was a roof fall at the mine, and the MSHA is investigating.

MHSA records show one injury was reported at the mine last year.

The mine is in the same central Utah county where the Crandall Canyon Mine collapsed in 2007, killing nine people.

Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon, who was mayor during the Crandall Canyon collapse, told KSL-TV and the Deseret News that it brings back memories of that disaster.

"Whenever there's a cave-in at any of the mines, you hold your breath," she said. "Coal is very powerful, and Mother Nature is very powerful."

The operator of the Crandall Canyon Mine, Genwal Resources Inc., an affiliate of Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., reached a $949,351 settlement in 2012 with the Mine Safety and Health Administration over safety violations.

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