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2 Dead, 20 Injured at Silver Mine near Ouray


Update Monday, 3:50 PM: Amy Louviere, Spokeswoman for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, tells KVNF all 20 of the sickened miners have been treated and released from area hospitals. 

Colorado US Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose) released a statement this afternoon, saying "I send my thoughts and prayers to the close knit communities of Ouray and surrounding areas and offer my support to those affected by this terrible tragedy."

Update Monday, 11:53 AM: According to the latest report from the Watch, Star Mining Manager Rory Williams says an underground blast on Saturday night was likely what released high levels of carbon monoxide that killed two miners and injured 20 others.

The crew of 20 was sent in to rescue the two sickened miners, but were forced to turn back because of the carbon monoxide levels.

Williams says at this time the company doesn't believe the accident was caused by faulty safety equipment.

Update Monday, 8:30 AM: Authorities are now saying the two deaths at the Revenue-Virginus Mine near Ouray were caused by exposure to carbon monoxide. 

Authorities say the source of the gas is under investigation, but that there could be a possible link to a small explosion that occurred Saturday night.

34-year-old Nick Cappano of Montrose and 59-year-old Rick Williams of Durango were killed in the accident.

Original Post

Two miners are dead and 20 more were injured after what's being described as a "powder-smoke incident" at the Revenue-Virginius Mine about seven miles south of Ouray. 

One mine official told the Watch that the incident wasn't caused by a cave-in or a collapse, but rather that the miners had been exposed to harmful chemicals after a blast. 

The Denver Post is reporting that all but two of the injured miners have been treated and released. Meanwhile, Ouray County Spokeswoman Marti Whitmore yesterday told the Associated Press "anything that has been reported is speculative...we don't know what the cause is."

The mine is owned by the Denver-based company Star Mine Operations, which also owns a mineral mine in Peru. About 100 workers are employed at the Revenue-Virginius mine.