Kentucky coal mine roof collapse kills one; search on for anotherCumberland is deep in the mountains of Appalachia. It's a speck on the map where nobody goes without a good reason.
CUMBERLAND, Ky. -- A roof collapse at a southeastern Kentucky coal mine killed one miner, and rescue crews were digging through a wall of rocks in search of another miner who was presumed dead.
The body of Brandon Wilder, 23, of Letcher County, was recovered about 5:30 a.m. Thursday, about seven hours after the collapse at the Stillhouse Mining Mine No. 1 near Cumberland, said Paris Charles, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing. (link)
Ironically, I passed through Cumberland just hours after the mine tragedy began. I was heading up Route 119 from Harlan to Pikeville and noticed, as I came into Cumberland, an increase in activity, including several state troopers heading into town. But it wasn't until hours later that I learned of the rescue/recovery operation that was underway.
This is sad on so many levels. Of all the areas I've travelled in my life, at least here in the USA, there is none more poverty-striken than this backwater region. Life is hard under the best of circumstances. And there aren't many of those.
The mines claim another life. Brandon Wilder, of Letcher County, who is survived by a wife, Kimberly, and a two-year-old daughter, and who would have been expecting a second child on Dec. 18, is one of eleven miners to have been killed this year.