20 seven miners have been rescued from the Lucky Friday Mine, after a Wednesday night “rock burst” trapped them nearly a mile underground. The seven miners were injured, but the most severe injury was a broken leg, not bad when you think about the fate of most trapped miners.
The Hecla Mining Company, who runs the Lucky Friday Mine in northern Idaho, is no stranger to mining accidents. Another miner, 26-year-old Brandon Lloyd Gray, died a few weeks ago from injuries suffered while trying to dislodge a jammed rock bin at Lucky Friday. In April, Larry “Pete” Marek was crushed to death after his work area collapsed at the mine, leading to nearly $1 million in fines by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Despite the accidents, the mine is undergoing a $200 million project to deepen the mine by nearly 9,000 feet to access more silver deposits. I guess $1 million fines here and there are nothing when you can foot a $200 million expansion. And getting people to plum the depths of the earth for you isn’t too hard in a shaky economy. Looks like they just got lucky this time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Depite KHQ’s initial report that 20 miners were trapped and rescued, it appears the number was only seven.