CUMBERLAND, Ky. -- A roof collapse at a Kentucky coal mine killed one miner yesterday, and rescue crews spent most of the day digging through a wall of rocks in search of another miner who was presumed dead.
''There has been no communication, no visible evidence that this miner is alive," said Holly McCoy-Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.
A section of mine roof 20 feet wide, 20 feet long, and 11 feet high collapsed on the workers late Wednesday, said Paris Charles, executive director of the mine office. The miners were part of a crew of about eight men who were performing retreat mining -- a dangerous process of removing coal pillars that support the roof.
Two rescue workers were injured in the search for the second miner, both by falling rocks.
Authorities have not released the names of the miners, but Travis Wilder said his 23-year-old brother Brandon Wilder died in the collapse. Brandon Wilder and his wife, Kimberly, have a 2-year-old daughter, and were expecting a second child in December, said Tyler Halcomb, another brother.
''He loved his job. He loved supporting his family," Travis Wilder said.
The collapse took place at Stillhouse Mining Mine No. 1 near Cumberland. The mine has been in operation since 1999, and has 73 employees. McCoy-Johnson said Stillhouse Mining had three roof control plan violations this year.