Body of Louisiana miner recovered after roof collapse; 1 still missing


AVERY ISLAND, La. (KLFY)  — The body of one of two missing miners has been recovered after the ceiling collapsed at a salt mine in Louisiana.

A total of 18 miners were inside the Cargill Avery Island Salt Mine on Monday; 16 of those employees escaped without injuries.

Early Tuesday morning, a rescue team found the body of one of the miners.

Cargill’s Avery Island Salt Mine Media Relations Director Daniel Sullivan did not identify the victim but did say the family has been notified.

Crews are still underground hoping they can find and save the second miner who was trapped, but as of right now, he is still missing.

A spokesperson for Cargill says they are still investigating the cause of the roof collapse.

In the last year, citations and fines were issued to Cargill for not properly securing unattended mining equipment, not maintaining two way communication systems for underground workers, and not properly halting other activities during blasting operations.

In November, 2019 Cargill was also cited for improper maintenance of escape routes.

A spokesperson for Cargill says there’s no indication that the roof collapse in the salt mine is related to an inspection issued identified in these recent citations.

Sullivan issued the following statement:

Cargill is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in our community.  I can confirm that this morning the rescue team recovered one of the missing miners who was fatally injured in the accident. We are continuing to do everything we can to locate the other team member with whom we have not had contact since the accident. Out of respect for the families, we will not be sharing further details about the employees at this time. Our sympathy is with the family who is mourning the loss of a loved one and we are offering support to them. We are working around the clock with the Mine Safety and Health Administration to safely complete the rescue efforts. 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.”

Daniel Sullivan, cargil avery island salt mine media relations director

This is a developing story. As more information becomes available, we will post it here.

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