Two miners die in Ohio County Armstrong Coal accident - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Two miners dead after wall collapse in Ohio County

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Armstrong Coal Company tells 14 News that the two miners trapped in Ohio County have died.

Darrel Winstead, 47, of Madisonville and Samuel Lindsey, 23, of Mortons Gap, died at the Armstrong Coal Company's Equality Boot Mine in Centertown.

Preliminary reports show a rock fall started around 6:30 Friday morning after a crew drove a truck near a high wall.

Tons of rock fell from that high wall, injuring several miners on the site.

The rubble trapped Winstead and Lindsey in a truck.

"We get together with all the ambulances here in town, coordinate a command post and they get that person to that point.  If they need extra equipment, we have to coordinate with Centertown Fire Dept. and other agencies to get people out," says Charlie Shields of the Ohio Co. EMA. "Armstrong coal takes priority, they do the rescue, they got the heavy equipment in there. To clear the high wall and until we know it's a rescue or recovery we have our guys on the side and they're ready to go at any given moment."

Crews tried to rescue the men but they were unsuccessful; their bodies were found Friday afternoon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends affected by today's tragedy," said Governor Steve Beshear.  "Mine safety is of paramount importance, and investigative teams will begin work immediately to determine the cause of this accident and whether there are any steps that can be taken to ensure such an accident does not occur again."

Winstead and Lindsey were blasters for the Mine Equipment and Mill Supply Company.

The Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing says they will investigate.

Today's accident brings the number of 2011 mine-related fatalities in Kentucky to six.

During the search, friend, families, and other miners met and waited anxiously.

14 News has learned the accident at the Armstrong Mine is the first in its history.

14 news caught up with a former miner Jewel Doyal.

She says working in the Ohio County mines was the best job she's ever had, but says she's always worried about safety in the mines.

"I just hope they'll watch more closely from now on."

14 News will have more reactions tonight on 14 News at 10.

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