Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Probe seeks source of fatal carbon monoxide leak at Colorado mine
First Published Nov 18 2013 09:02 am • Last Updated Nov 18 2013 11:59 am

Ouray, Colo. • Authorities on Monday were trying to determine the source of carbon monoxide blamed for killing two men and injuring others at a mine in southwestern Colorado.

Ouray County officials said they have ruled out an explosion and mine collapse as the immediate cause of the deaths of Nick Cappanno, 34, of Montrose and Rick Williams, 59, of Durango on Sunday at the Revenue-Virginius mine.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

However, the Montrose Daily Press and The Denver Post reported that investigators were looking at whether a small blast on Saturday at the underground gold, silver and lead mine may have been the cause of the carbon monoxide problem.

"I believe a blast was involved which did create some gases which potentially the miners did inhale," Rory Williams, manager for the mine’s owner, Denver-based Star Mine Operations LLC, told the Daily Press.

Nineteen other miners were taken to a hospital and four were admitted. They were listed in fair condition.

The investigation will be done by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

A possible blast on Saturday would be something investigators would look into as part of the chronology of events leading to the deaths, administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere said.

Officials also will interview witnesses and inspect any equipment involved for possible malfunctions, she said.

Rory Williams, who is not related to Rick Williams, said all of the men are required to wear personal respirators and the two who died had them. It was unclear, however, if the workers were wearing the respirators.

Rory Williams said it doesn’t appear there was an equipment malfunction, the Post reported.


story continues below

"I knew both of these individuals personally," Rory Williams said. "They were hard-working men. They were great men. They will be remembered indeed."

About 100 miners work at the site about 270 miles southwest of Denver, which will be closed until the end of the investigation.

Star Mine acquired the property in 2011 and got a permit to start mining in February. All the mining is done by drilling and blasting, according to state regulators.

The last major mining disaster in Colorado occurred on April 15, 1981, when an explosion killed 15 people at the Mid-Continent Dutch Creek No. 1 Mine near Redstone.

There have been eight mining deaths in the state since 2002, not including the two Sunday, according to the mine safety agency.

In 2011, a New Mexico contract worker died after being hurt at the West Elk Coal Mine in Somerset, in western Colorado. The agency found the 53-year-old worker slipped and fell from a beam at a tower construction site.

In 2012, a 25-year-old water truck driver died after losing control of his vehicle at Colowyo Mine in Moffat County.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.