|Phil Baker, president of Hecla Mining Company.|
BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho miner trapped underground nine days ago was most likely buried when the collapse occurred and is presumed to be dead, mining company officials said yesterday.
“We now believe that Larry was under the fall of ground when it occurred,’’ Baker said in a video posted on Hecla’s website. He added, “Words cannot express the deep sorrow we feel at the tragic loss of Larry.’’
The announcement follows more than a week of trying to reach the miner caught in the cave-in more than a mile underground. By yesterday, officials had determined that he could not have survived.
“Based on crew observations of the area where the fall of ground occurred and crewmember experience in similar situations, we believe Larry is deceased,’’ company spokeswoman Stefany Bales said.
Marek and his brother, Mike, had just finished watering down blasted-out rock and ore in the mine when the ceiling collapsed in the 6,150-foot deep tunnel. Mike Marek escaped unharmed.