Rescue Effort Update: Crews Advancing Safely And Quickly - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rescue Effort Update: Crews Advancing Safely And Quickly

  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • TRAPPED MINER: One Week Later The Rescue Efforts Continue

    TRAPPED MINER: One Week Later The Rescue Efforts Continue

    MULLAN, Idaho (AP) - Rescuers have blasted 111 feet of tunnel into an Idaho mountainside in their bid to find a 53-year-old silver miner who may be trapped in a cave-in.>>
    UPDATE FROM THE HECLA MINING COMPANY: Rescue efforts continue and the crew has advanced a total of 163 feet in the 220-foot drift north of the 15 stope. Crews have been working on this drift since April 18th. Crews have been progressing safely and quickly. However as the crew advances closer to the location of the 15 stope, the work involved will become much more difficult. >>>Get Breaking Updates On Facebook & Our Twitter News Feed|>>

1. Rescue efforts continue and the crew has advanced a total of 184 feet in the 220-foot drift north of the 15 stope. Crews have been working on this drift since April 18th. Crews to date have been progressing safely and quickly. However, as planned, we have stopped the advance and are drilling probing holes from the 184-foot mark to determine the condition inside the stope. Today probes encountered broken rubble and sandfill and could not detect any voids. The work involved from this point forward is much more difficult, and time consuming. Crews will be spiling while advancing the drift. We have all the necessary materials and equipment on-site to implement our rescue efforts.


2. We will continue to drill several small diameter holes into the 15 stope. These holes are drilled close together and are targeted to reach the area around and close to the face of the 15 stope. The drill holes will assess the ground conditions in advance of the rescue team reaching the face with the 220-foot drift. We continue to introduce fresh air and water into the 15 stope through the existing drill holes.


3. We have determined that the air quality inside the stope is normal.


4. Additional information including an updated video message from Phil Baker, Hecla President and CEO, and sketches of the underground location and nature of the work we are doing can be found on the homepage of our website at www.hecla-mining.com.


5. Hecla will provide the next rescue update on April 24th at approximately 2:00 pm Pacific Time.

Background Information


1. The Lucky Friday mine has been in operation for 69 years. It's a deep underground silver, lead and zinc mine located in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. We currently have 275 employees and approximately 100 contractors.

2. A localized fall of ground occurred on April 15 at approximately 5:30 pm in a section of the underground mine at 6150 feet below surface on a vein that is 2200 feet long. The 15 stope which is one of the mining areas along that vein is 152 feet long. The fall of ground is approximately 75 feet from the entrance of the 15 stope. We do not know the length of the fall of ground. The ground that fell is up to 25 feet high and 20 feet wide.


3. Two Hecla employees were working in the area where the fall of ground occurred. One employee is safe and we have not had communication with the other, who is Larry Marek, 53 years old with over 30 years experience in the mining industry. Larry has been working for the Company for 12 years.

4. As we advanced in the 15 stope we encountered conditions that prevented the rescue teams from safely installing timber supports and removing rock and debris blocking the stope. While additional planning is being done to determine how we could safely continue accessing the area through the 15 stope by utilizing timber support and other means, we have initiated work on alternative plans which are included in the new information section on page 1.

5. The third drill hole intersected the 15 stope at approximately 174 feet. It is in close proximity to the first 180-foot drill hole which was completed on April 19th.


6. A 46-foot hole drilled through the rubble pile in the 15 stope was completed on April 19th and pierced a void which is believed to be close to the location of the final mined face. This drill hole is allowing crews to gather additional information on the fall of rock and the voids in the stope, but it is not a conduit for transfer of materials.


7. In order to prevent interference with stability monitoring in the 15 stope, we will not start the 182-foot drift.


8. We have secured additional cameras from external sources which we have deployed into the completed drill holes to assess the open areas in the 15 stope.


9. Our employees' safety and that of the rescue teams is a top priority for us. Rescue efforts for Larry continue. Rescue crews are working 24 hours a day.


10. We are calling on all available resources and currently have sufficient materials and equipment needed on-site to safely implement rescue efforts.


11. The Company is working extraordinarily hard to reach Larry and will continue making every effort as long as it takes, using safe methods in the process in order to avoid risk to the rescue teams.


12. While our primary concern is Larry, the Company is also very concerned for his family, loved ones and for his co-workers. We are in communication with the family and have been keeping them up-to-date. The Company has also made available professional support and emotional counseling for the family and employees.


13. Our current focus is 100% directed to rescuing Larry and ensuring the safety of the rescue team. We will investigate the causes after rescue efforts are complete.


14. The Lucky Friday mine is in full rescue operation, and is not presently engaged in mining operations.


15. Communications are being coordinated with all relevant authorities, including local, state, regional and federal officials and emergency service organizations. MSHA is on site.


16. We deeply sympathize with the family and employees and are doing all that is possible to progress with rescue operations in a safe and expedited manner.


17. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones. At the request of Larry's family and friends, we would ask that you respect their privacy. The Company appreciates everyone's understanding and support.

Definitions


Stope "Stoping": It's the removal of the wanted ore from an underground mine leaving behind an open space known as a stope.

Drift "Drifting": It's a standard mining method which involves blasting rock with a jumbo drill, removing the blasted material with muckers to a muck bay and supporting the newly exposed ground. Advancing a tunnel through rock.


Spiling: It's a technique in which steel support members are placed over the timber or steel sets that are used in a drift (tunnel). This forms an umbrella of supported ground under which timber or steel sets can be safely installed while advancing the drift.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-23 02:38:39 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>
  • Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed 3-year-old

    Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed 3-year-old

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 7:31 PM EST2017-11-23 00:31:28 GMT

     WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A teenage driver who authorities say crashed his car at an intersection while fleeing police, killing a 3-year-old and injuring four other people faces charges.    Eighteen-year-old Zekhi Lee was charged Wednesday with first-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility in connection with the Tuesday afternoon crash. He's being held on $1.2 million bail.

    >>

     WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A teenage driver who authorities say crashed his car at an intersection while fleeing police, killing a 3-year-old and injuring four other people faces charges.    Eighteen-year-old Zekhi Lee was charged Wednesday with first-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility in connection with the Tuesday afternoon crash. He's being held on $1.2 million bail.

    >>
  • Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:41 PM EST2017-11-23 03:41:53 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/