Pennsylvania residents may be interested to learn about a fatal mining accident that occurred in southwestern Colorado. Although the factors that led to the accident are still under investigation, it has been determined that a 34-year-old man and a 59-year-old man were killed as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Four of the 19 other mine workers involved were admitted to the hospital and have been listed in fair condition.
The fatal workplace accident happened at a mine in Ouray, which is about 270 miles southwest of Denver. At approximately 7:20 a.m. on Nov. 17, the Ouray County Sheriff’s Office received a call about two miners who were trapped underground. According to a spokesperson, some of the survivors had attempted to save the miners but had to escape before they succumbed to the gas.
Normally, miners in the area carry devices with them that can detect the presence of poison gases in the air. So far, it is not known whether or not the Colorado miners’ safety devices had been working properly before the fatal accident. Federal mining regulators are expected to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. Investigators may look into whether a planned explosion that was conducted before the accident played any role.
Although they escaped with their lives, the surviving victims of this accident may have injuries that leave them unable to return to their former occupation. Depending on the amount of carbon monoxide they ingested, some workers may experience permanent organ damage and problems with brain functioning. To seek compensation for their lost wages, surviving victims of this accident may choose to file a workers’ compensation claim or, if their employer is found to have been negligent, forego a workers’ compensation claim and file a personal injury suit instead for a possibly greater payout.
Source: Drugs.com, “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Guide,” 2013
Source: USA Today, “2 killed, 19 inured in Colorado mining accident“, November 18, 2013