Pray-Coal miner killed and searching for another
Kentucky coal mine roof collapse kills one; search on for another
CUMBERLAND, Ky. -- A roof collapse at a southeastern Kentucky coal mine killed one miner, and rescue crews were searching for another who was missing and could be trapped by a wall of fallen rocks, authorities said Thursday.Paris Charles, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing, said the body of one of the miners was recovered about 5:30 a.m."There is an ongoing operation to find the other missing miner," he said. "We are calling this a rescue operation." A section of mine roof 20 feet wide, 20 feet long and 11 feet high collapsed without warning around midnight, Charles said.
The two miners were part of a crew of about eight men who were working in the portion of the mine, performing what is called retreat mining in which coal pillars that support the roof are removed. Two rescue workers have been injured since the search began early Thursday.
A Letcher County man at the scene said the miner who has been confirmed dead is his brother.
"We are not blaming anybody," said Travis Wilder, who said his 24-year-old brother, Brandon Wilder, died in the collapse. "It was just an accident."
Brandon Wilder, of Letcher County is survived by a wife, Kimberly, and a two-year-old daughter, said another brother of Wilder's, Tyler Halcomb. The family was expecting a second child on Dec. 18."He loved his job. He loved supporting his family," Travis Wilder said.About 20 rescue workers were trying to find the other man Thursday afternoon.A rock fall injured mine inspector Daven Hoskins, who was working on the rescue, said Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the Environmental Protection and Public Protection Cabinet. Hoskins was treated and released from a hospital. Another worker, Mark Sheldon, a scoop operator, was admitted to Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap, Va., with a broken shoulder and broken ribs. He was hurt when rock fell on him during the search, Wolfe said.
Pulling pillars is very dangerous...but what about mining is safe? Pray for these families!