The life of a hard rock miner is tough one. Anything can change in a split-second underground.
Danger abounds when you mix explosives with heavy equipment and, of course, the always unpredictable Mother Earth.
For those who live their lives topside, it is hard to imagine how rock is a living and ever-changing creature, but miners certainly know this nature.
One of the deadliest underground hazards is the looming rock bursts - I've lived through a small one. They occur frequently in the Silver Valley mines, but there are many, many other dangers as well.
I worked for nearly three years underground at the Sunshine Mine and I had my fair share of brushes with death. I count my blessings on a regular basis that I had the opportunity to learn from those experiences.
Being forced to learn from the death of a fellow miner sends a chill down any miner's spine and wrenches our hearts with grief. More here. Jeff Selle, Cda Press
Related story: Sunshine Mine victim remembered