Mine roof collapse kills 1, injures 1

March 24, 2013 at 5:11 PM
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HUNTINGTON, Utah, March 24 (UPI) -- A roof collapse at a coal mine outside of Huntington, Utah, killed one miner and injured another, officials said.

A ceiling deep inside of the Rhino Mine in Bear Canyon collapsed Friday afternoon, killing 29-year-old Elam Jones and injuring Dallen McFarlane, the Deseret News, Salt Lake City, reported.

The pair had been retreat mining, a process considered dangerous because it involves removing of the last resources from an area of the mine shortly before support pillars are taken out. About 25 percent of deaths involving coal miners happen during retreat mining, Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesman Jesse Lawder said.

The Rhino Mine is owned by Kentucky-based Rhino Resource Partners and the local Castle Valley Mining Complex and is run by Rhino and Derk Jones, Elam's father, the newspaper said.

"I've been in the mining industry for 36 years and my father spent over 40 years in a mine," Derk Jones said. "Over the years, you see people lose their lives. You try to prepare yourself for it because it might happen to you, it might happen to your best friend, but you really can't prepare yourself."

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