Rescue crews continue to dig toward trapped miner, Larry Marek, at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho. Marek was trapped more than a mile underground after the roof of a tunnel where the Idaho miner was extracting silver-bearing ore collapsed.
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“We’re doing everything we can to reach the employee,” said Phillips Baker, Hecla’s chief executive officer. “We’re going to bring him out. That’s what we’re working on.”
Rescuers had cleared debris from the first 25 feet by Saturday afternoon, but progress slowed for safety reasons. Crews had to secure the overhead rock before they could continue forward.
Solemn miners and community members huddled in groups in downtown Mullan to share information about the accident and rescue efforts. Others formed prayer circles.
Longtime Silver Valley miners said if Larry “Pete” Marek survived the Friday night rockfall that trapped him 6,150 feet underground, his hydraulic drill could supply him with the air and water he needs to keep him alive.
Larry “Pete” Marek, 53, was trapped more than a mile underground when the ceiling of his work area, or stope, collapsed Friday evening.
Throughout the Silver Valley, miners and residents monitoring the situation are hoping and praying that Marek found refuge in a pocket beyond the rockfall and was not buried. There has been no communication with the miner since the collapse Friday evening.
Hecla Mining officials anticipate completing a 185-foot bore hole Tuesday that could help them re-establish contact with a trapped miner at the Lucky Friday Mine. It’s unknown whether the miner, Larry “Pete” Marek, survived the rockfall, but if he did, he could be trapped behind the massive rock pile. There has been no communication with Marek since the incident on Friday evening.