MARTIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY The search of a collapsed building at an idled mine in Martin County, Kentucky ended Friday night when the final man missing was found dead.
The two Pike County men, Billy Ray Daniels and Alvin Nees, were initially trapped when Martin Mine Prep Plant building near Middlefork Wolfe Creek Road collapsed Halloween night. Day and night rescue efforts commenced to comb through the ten stories of debris many said reminded them of the September eleventh aftermath.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued a state of emergency in Martin County to help with the effort. Dr. Lon Lafferty, Judge Executive for Martin County, issued a declaration in the county’s efforts to rescue the men.
Cause of the collapse has not been confirmed. The two men were reportedly salvaging the plant at the time of the collapse. Billy Ray Daniels was identified, and confirmed as the first fatality on the night of the November first. That was a day removed from when the collapse first occurred.
Search efforts continued through Thursday and it was Friday morning of November sixth with rescue crew said the efforts had reached a new phase.
Jeremy Slinker, Director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. “All of the voids and all of the places of interest where dogs indicated an interest, all of those have been searched.”
Rescue crews were using canines, cameras and listening devices to find Nees the debris and rubble.
Heavy equipment was brought to slowly begin moving the wreckage in order gain more access for efforts to continue.
“When we pick things off the pile, we’re going to put the debris in a separate pile and assign a rescue group to it and do a secondary search to make sure it doesn’t have any clue of a last known location of the victim we’re looking for. It’s a very methodical process and a very slow process,”said Jody Meiman, Section Chief of Rescue Operation.
Officials estimated there were close to forty rescue workers on the scene and another 25 support personnel.
The fatalities were confirmed the night of Friday, November third around eight o’clock.
PHOTO | WLKY