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 Post subject: 13 Year old Girl Dies Falling down shaft, Phoenix AZ
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
Tragically this happens all too often, people just dont know, or dont look for these things. so sad.


PHOENIX, Ariz. - A 13-year-old girl who fell into a brush-covered mine shaft while riding an all-terrain vehicle was found dead at the bottom Sunday, and her 10-year-old sister was rescued with serious injuries, authorities said.
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The girls, 13-year-old Rikki Howard and 10-year-old Casie Hicks, were out for a holiday weekend ride around 7 p.m. Saturday when their father, who was riding ahead of them on a dirt bike, noticed the girls were missing.

"They were driving along and they went into the mine. It was a total accident," Mohave County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said.

The mine, believed to be inactive, is located in Chloride, about 17 miles north of Kingman. It was next to a dirt road, concealed by brush and had no signs or barriers.

Sheriff's personnel searched throughout the night, but they weren't able to follow the ATV's tracks into the 125-foot mine shaft until 6:20 a.m. Sunday. The team walked by the site overnight because the hole was covered, she said.

When the entrance was discovered, the father called out and one of the girls answered, officials said. Crews later rappelled into the mine and found the girls and the vehicle at the bottom.

The 10-year-old girl was transported to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Edwards said. She was in critical condition Sunday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said. The family declined to comment through the hospital.

Seth Johnson, a neighbor of the girls and their family's landlord, said the two were half-sisters. Their family was at the Las Vegas hospital, he said.

"It's an awful shock," Johnson said. "Their parents are very distraught."

Cathy Kelso, a bus driver, said she has been driving the two girls to school for a year and a half. "They're little sweetheart girls," she said. "I just keep hoping it's not true, but it's horrible."

Laurie Swartzbaugh, deputy director of the Arizona State Mine Inspector's office, said that the mine had not been used for some time, and that the office was investigating. She said abandoned mines are common in the state, and that since Jan. 1, the office has secured 108 of them.

"There's a significant amount of abandoned mines out there that are hazardous to the public's health," she said. "Most of those mines are from old prospectors who would go in and they would mine and they'd just pick up leave."

It was not immediately clear who owned the mine. Swartzbaugh said many abandoned mines date back to the early 1900s and that sometimes it's not possible to track down who owns them.








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 Post subject: Rescuers Passed Mineshaft During Search
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:59 am
Posts: 40
The family apparently didn't even know that the mineshaft was there. And there's many more lurking out there for the unwary traveler to stumble upon.

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Rescuers Passed Mineshaft During Search
September 3, 2007
Report combined from various sources.


The unmarked mineshaft was so well hidden, rescuers searching for two missing sisters walked right by it in the darkness. But in the light of day on Sunday, they were finally able to see the tracks of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) leading into the northwestern Arizona mineshaft, a 125-foot vertical drop concealed by brush and devoid of any signs or barriers.

When the girls' father yelled into the gaping hole, only one daughter answered. Rescuers who rappelled to the bottom of the mine found 13-year-old Rikki Howard dead. Her ten-year-old half-sister, Casie Hicks, had "major injuries" and was listed in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital Sunday evening.

The girls and their dad had been out riding for fun Saturday night in Chloride, about 200 miles northwest of Phoenix. They were having a holiday-weekend jaunt riding ATV’s in the mountains there. Their father was riding ahead of them on his dirt bike when he noticed they were no longer behind him. Rescuers searched throughout the night, but the rough terrain and darkness were too much. During the night, the search team walked by the site because the shaft entrance was hidden by a line of brush.

The girls come from a working-class family. They have three other siblings and lived with their stepfather, a construction worker, and their mother, who worked two jobs to help make ends meet. The sisters attended school in Dolan Springs, a nearby town to the north.

The family lives about 6 miles north of Chloride, an old mining community of about 360 people near the Nevada border. Like much of rural Arizona, mine shafts are plentiful in the hillsides around the town. The state is home to an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines, about 9,900 of which have been inventoried. They range from 40 feet to more than 400 feet deep, according to officials with the Arizona State Mine Inspector's office. The Sheriff's Department stated that the mineshaft the girls fell into was not marked or fenced off. Most of the abandoned mines have been inactive since the late 1800's or the 1930's. More often than not, an owner cannot be identified, which leaves the state as the responsible party.

The state has allocated $50,000 in next year's budget so the Mine Inspector's office can seal or fence off abandoned mines. The agency plans to use those funds, plus monetary and in-kind donations, to close up 40 more mines in 2008. It costs about $450 to erect a fence and put signs around an abandoned mine. Alternatively, the estimated price to permanently fill a mine that’s about 165 feet deep is around $20,000; the cost varies depending on the size of the mine. The office said that 104 abandoned mines have been fenced off and another four permanently filled since the beginning of January, with the most dangerous sites being targeted first to avoid precisely this kind of tragedy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:41 pm
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
:( To be honest, I'm surprized this hasn't happened more.....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Yeah, it is ashame things like this happen. Very shame.. But it is very easy out in AZ if you are riding on quads and there is only a little brush in front of a vertical shaft. It is dark, you don't see it in time....

But there are mines all over the place in AZ, it is too easy for something like this to happen as these mines are just left opened. The same thing could happen with subsidences..

Miner Greg


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