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Injured miners out of hospital; Kiski Twp. facility to remain closed

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

Two miners have been released from a hospital after they were injured in a rock fall Monday inside Rosebud's Tracy Lynne Mine in Kiski Township.

Rosebud Mining Co. of Kittanning, is not releasing the workers' names. State and federal officials investigating the accident said they do not have that information.

One miner was released from the hospital Monday night and the other man, who was kept overnight for observation, was released Tuesday morning, according to Jim Barker, a Rosebud vice president.

“They're banged up a bit, but nothing terribly serious,” Barker said.

The incident happened about 4:50 p.m. Monday when a chunk of rock — about 3 feet wide, 9 feet long and 3 inches thick — fell from between support pillars.

The men were 5 or 6 miles underground installing canvas used for ventilation when the accident occurred, said Joseph Sbaffoni, director of Bureau of Mine Safety, which is part of the state Department of Environmental Protection. The rock hit one miner in the knee and struck the other on his back, he said.

The mine shaft is about 4 feet high and miners must crawl on their hands and knees as they work.

John Poister, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the Bureau of Mine Safety completed its on-scene investigation and is now analyzing the information.

“We're looking at whether the construction of the mine was set up so the pillars were supported properly and that when they did this, they did it in accordance with proper procedures,” Poister said.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is also investigating.

The mine will not reopen until the agency completes its inquiry. A spokesman could not say when that would be.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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