Sen. McConnell says 1 miner dead, 1 missing after roof collapse at western Ky. coal mine

By By Brett Barrouquere, AP
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sen. McConnell says 1 miner dead in Ky. coal mine

PROVIDENCE, Ky. — One miner has died in a coal mine collapse in western Kentucky and another was missing, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Thursday after rescuers had to retreat from the underground accident scene.

McConnell announced the news on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday. A McConnell spokesman said in an e-mail that the senator was alerted by officials with the mine operator, Alliance Coal Co. Alliance did not return calls from The Associated Press.

The miners were reported missing after a roof collapsed late Wednesday. Gov. Steve Beshear said rescue crews had to pull back after reaching the site of the collapse when the roof became unstable.

Tim Miller from the United Mine Workers Union said at least two others escaped after a rock fall in the mine near Providence, about 150 miles west of Louisville.

Beshear, who traveled to the scene, said rescue workers located one of miners but he was “unresponsive.” The rescue crew had to retreat when the ceiling shifted.

Beshear says workers were trying to shore up the roof so they could return to the site of the collapse, about 4 miles from the mine portal.

Beshear met privately for about 50 minutes with family members who have gathered at the Nebo Baptist Church.

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