Two Dead in CO Mining Accident

Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 11:11 AM gHale

Two workers died and 20 others suffered injuries Sunday in a mining accident near the southwestern Colorado town of Ouray. While the incident was not a cave in or collapse, officials were reporting some type of release of chemicals in a powder-like smoke injured the miners.

The Ouray County sheriff’s office got a call for the Revenue-Virginius mine at 7:20 a.m., county spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said. The miners were underground and confirmed dead Sunday afternoon.

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“Anything that has been reported is speculative,” Whitmore said. “We don’t know what the cause is.”

Star Mine Operations, LLC, the owner of the mine, was not immediately available for comment, but Whitmore said the company accounted for all workers at the site.

She said 20 people went to area hospitals, and all but two ended up treated and released. The condition of those two hospitalized workers was not immediately available.

Rory Williams, project manager for Star Mine Operations, told the Ouray Watch newspaper the accident was not a cave-in or mine collapse but was apparently a “powder-smoke incident,” and the release of chemicals in the smoke injured the miners.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is at the accident site, which is about 270 miles southwest of Denver.

Star Mine Operations acquired the property in late 2011.

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