Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Team recovers mine foreman's body
CUMBERLAND, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2005) - A recovery team today removed the body of a miner killed when a portion of the roof deep inside the Stillhouse Mining LLC No. 1 Mine collapsed late Wednesday.
Russell L. Cole, 39, of Partridge in Letcher County, was foreman of the mine. Cole and a second victim, Brandon Wilder, 23, were killed while engaged in retreat mining. Wilder's body was recovered early Thursday. The search for Cole was hampered by two subsequent roof falls, the first of which injured two members of a rescue team.
Recovery workers spent Saturday installing additional roof supports inside the mine. Cole's body was removed from the mine shortly after 7 a.m. today.
The accident occurred about three miles from the entrance to the mine, which is near Cumberland in Harlan County. The recovery team included personnel of the Office of Mine Safety and Licensure, an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. The deaths were the second and third coal mining fatalities in Kentucky in 2005.