Two miners were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning and another 20 needed hospital treatment after an incident at the Silver Star Resources operated Revenue-Virginius Silver Mine near Ouray in southwest Colorado. The incident occurred at about 7.20 am local time (2.20 pm GMT) on Sunday 17 November 2013, when miners were attempting to re-enter a shaft following blasting. The dead men have been named as Nick Cappanno (34) of Montrose, and Rick Williams (59) of Durango.
Aerial view of the Revenue-Virginius Mine. Silver Star Resources.
The cause of the incident has yet to be determined. Pockets of gas, which can be exposed by blasting or other excavation activity are a problem in all underground mines, but carbon monoxide can also be produced as a result of incomplete combustion of some explosives. Workers at the Revenue-Virginius Mine are issued with portable gas alarms, but the toxic nature of carbon monoxide means that in sufficient quantities it can overwhelm miners before they have time to react. The incident happened in a horizontal shaft, 2.4 km from the mine entrance, but at the same level.
The approximate location of the Revenue-Virginius Mine. Google Maps.
See also Fatality at Wyoming coal mine, Fatality at Illinois coal mine, Worker killed at West Virginia coal mine, Executive faces prison over West Virginia's Upper Branch Mine Disaster and Fatality at Mexican Silver Mine.
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.