Trapped Idaho silver miners rescued
Yesterday turned out to be a lucky Thursday for seven silver miners trapped 5900 feet below the surface in the Lucky Friday mine near Mullan, Idaho. All seven were safely removed from the mine and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. All have been released from the hospital or are in stable condition.
The episode at the Hecla Mining Company facility began with a rock burst that occurred on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at approximately 7:40 p.m.
Hecla president and CEO Phil Baker said the rock burst was unrelated to mining activities because no mine blasting had taken place anywhere in the mine for the previous 24 hours.
The mine is currently closed pending further investigation. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was notified and an investigation is planned.
“The safety of our employees is our primary concern,” said Baker, who added that the company was in the process of installing mine safety improvements in that area to withstand rock bursts.
Two Lucky Friday miners were killed in separate incidents earlier this year -- on in a roof collapse in a mile-deep tunnel, and the other who was buried in rubble after trying to dislodge a jammed rock bin. MSHA cited the mine for four violations with nearly $1 million in penalties after those fatalities.