2 mine workers killed in Missouri accident

KSN News (file)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two workers fell to their death Friday inside a southeast Missouri mine that has been the site of two other fatal accidents since 2000.

The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. Friday at a lime mine operated by the Mississippi Lime Co. near the town of Ste. Genevieve, about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

Ste. Genevieve County Coroner Leo Basler said the men were in a basket, or boom, extended from a truck several feet below, removing loose rock from either the wall or the ceiling of the mine.

“From what I understand some of that rock came loose and hit the boom and detached it,” Basler said.

No one else was hurt.

Basler and Maj. Jason Schott of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department said no other details were immediately available. Names of the victims have not been released.

St. Louis-based Mississippi Lime Co. makes calcium products and calcium-based solutions. Messages left with the company were not immediately returned.

The regulatory Mine Safety and Health Administration sent investigators to the scene of the accident, spokeswoman Amy Louviere said.

The mine has been the site of at least two fatal accidents, according to data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

On April 4, 2002, maintenance mechanic Jerry L. Vaughn, 54, was killed when he was struck by a dust collector bag that had been dropped from a third-floor window. MSHA ruled that the accident happened because the drop area had not been cleared or secured, and that no warning was given before dropping the bags.

On June 13, 2007, contract welder Skeets Myrick, 45, was injured when a pipe shifted abruptly and struck him. Myrick died six days later. MSHA blamed the contractor’s policies and work procedures that failed to ensure that workers stay clear of suspended loads.

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