Two miners died, and 20 more were injured, after an accident involving carbon monoxide occurred at the Revenue-Virginius Mine in Ouray County, Colorado on Sunday. The incident occurred at 7:20 a.m., and emergency crews immediately responded.
Star Mines operations manager Rory Williams said the two miners who perished likely died from carbon monoxide poisoning, adding that the gases may have been released during blasting on Saturday, or earlier. "Some miners were attempting to save the others and started to feel effects of gas and had to leave the area prior to being able to help the other individuals," said Williams.
The miners who died have been identified as Nick Cappanno, 34 of Montrose, and Rick Williams, 59, of Durango. The Coroner’s preliminary findings confirmed that the cause of death for both men was carbon monoxide poisoning. Complete autopsies are pending.
Amy Louviere, public affairs officer for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said, "A foreman and one miner were overcome by gases following an explosives accident. Other miners in the area evacuated the mine. Mine rescue teams were dispatched and brought the victims to the surface at 2 p.m."
According to Silver Star Resources, the Revenue-Virginius mine is a silver, lead, zinc, copper and gold mine located in central Colorado. The mine has a historical non 43-101 compliant reserve, with large exploration potential. The deposit consists of high grade narrow mesothermal quartz veins.
Williams said that all miners wear portable gas detectors that register four different dangerous gases. Investigators were examining the detectors worn by the deceased, to see if they were on and working properly.
The accident occurred roughly 8,000 feet from the mine entrance, in a horizontal shaft at the same level. Of the 20 taken to hospitals, 16 were treated and released, while the rest remained hospitalized as of 10 p.m. Sunday night. Two miners were admitted to Montrose Memorial Hospital, in fair condition, one was admitted to Delta County Memorial Hospital in fair condition, and one was admitted at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.
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