Utah coal mine collapse kills one miner, injures another

SALT LAKE CITY Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:06am EDT

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SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A miner was killed and another injured on Friday when part of a tunnel roof collapsed at a coal mine in central Utah, authorities said.

The miner was killed in the cave-in at the Rhino mine in Bear Canyon, 10 miles from Huntington in central Utah, which was reported shortly after 3 p.m. local time, the Emery County Sheriff's Office said.

Rescue workers recovered one injured miner at the site, who was taken to the Castleview Hospital in Price, Utah for treatment, Sheriff's office spokeswoman Molly Barnes said.

"Members of the Rhino mine rescue team have recovered the body of the second coal miner," Barnes said. She said his identity would not be released until his family had been informed.

The Rhino mine is part of the Castle Valley Mining Complex, according to news reports. A call to Rhino Resource Partners, which owns the operation in Emery and Carbon Counties, Utah, was not returned.

The mine is just a few miles from a coal mine at Crandall Canyon, Utah, where a collapse in August 2007 trapped and killed six workers 1,800 feet underground in a cave-in so powerful that it caused a magnitude 3.9 seismic waves.

Three rescue workers were killed in a second collapse ten days after the initial disaster.

Joe Piccolo, the mayor of the nearby mining town of Price, where the injured miner was taken for treatment, said local communities in the Utah coal belt had "always sustained themselves through grief stricken situations."

"It's a dangerous occupation, but we will pull together," he told Reuters.

Barnes could not confirm the condition of the injured miner. Piccolo said he had been treated and released from hospital.

(Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

(This story was refiled to correct the name in the last paragraph)

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