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 Post subject: Mine rescuers find rubble
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Mine rescuers find rubble
The Associated Press

MULLAN, Idaho — Rescue efforts have reached a section of a collapsed tunnel where they had hoped to find an Idaho silver miner who has been missing underground for more than a week, a Hecla Mining Co. official said Saturday.

But crews using bore holes and probes found only sand and rubble where they had been searching for an open section of mine, said spokeswoman Melanie Hennessey.

Finding collapsed material here could mean the entire 75 feet of tunnel where 53-year-old Larry Marek had been working has collapsed.

"We would hope not, but that’s the indication," Hennessey said.

There still could be open areas elsewhere inside the mine, she said. Crews won’t know whether to expect to find voids without more digging. And since there is no way to know for certain Marek’s location, search efforts will continue.

"We’re still 100 percent focused on rescue efforts," Hennessey said.

Marek and his brother, Mike, had just finished watering down blasted-out rock and ore in an area called Stope 15, which has been mined for 14 years, Hecla said. The ceiling collapsed about 75 feet from the rock face of the 6,150-foot deep tunnel, the company said.

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