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Second miner found dead following roof collapse at Louisiana salt mine

2 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, December 16 2020 Dec 16, 2020 December 16, 2020 9:48 AM December 16, 2020 in News
Source: KATC
Photo: KATC

AVERY ISLAND - Officials say a rescue team recovered the second of two missing miners following the collapse of the roof of a Louisiana salt mine.

Sadly, the second missing miner was also fatally injured in the accident at the Avery Island mine.

The incident happened Monday morning at the Cargill salt mine in Avery Island. The company confirmed one of the missing miners was found dead Tuesday, and the search was ongoing for the second.

Cargill issued the following statement regarding the tragedy: 

"Our hearts are broken for our colleagues and their families. To respect their privacy, we will not be sharing further details about the employees at this time. We continue to offer both families support and extend our deepest condolences for their loss.

We care about our teammates and have professional grief counselors on site at our facility who will be available to our team as needed. The safety and well-being of our colleagues is our top priority. We are grieving with the community as we face this loss together.

As rescue efforts have concluded, we now focus on completing our investigation in coordination with the Mine Health and Safety Administration to better understand what caused the accident. We are committed to learning from this tragedy and remain unwavering in our dedication to safe operations."

KATC also obtained records Monday showing about 50 citations issued at the mine resulting from inspections throughout 2020. 

The most recent citation, dated Dec. 3, was for "ground conditions that create a hazard to persons shall be taken down or supported before other work or travel is permitted in the affected area. Until corrective work is completed, the area shall be posted with a warning against entry and, when left unattended, a barrier shall be installed to impede unauthorized entry."

Other citations issued over the course of the year reportedly included violations regarding firefighting equipment, danger signs, safety equipment, safety defect processes and parking procedures for equipment. Fines were levied for all citations prior to November, and most were labeled as closed. 

While the collapse is still under investigation, the company has said there is "no indication" that it was related to safety violations identified in recent federal inspections.

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