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MSHA Finishes Investigation Of Double Fatality

The Mine Safety and Health Administration released the results of their investigation into the two deaths at the Revenue silver mine in Ouray County last December.  They found that the miners died because of “management’s failure to dispose of deteriorated explosives in a safe manner.” 

Some degraded explosives were detonated in a section of the mine that wasn’t well ventilated.  The explosives released carbon monoxide.  Two miners went in that evening, and reported feeling sick.  They told management, but management didn’t do anything about it.  The next day, a pair of miners went in, and one, Nick Cappanno collapsed.  The other escaped. 

In an attempt to rescue the first miner, shift boss Rick Williams ran in and also succumbed to the deadly gas.   Nick and Rick both died.  Seven other miners were hospitalized.  MSHA has levied a one million dollar fine against Star Mine Operations, who was the operator of the mine until very recently.  Star Mine was also found to have POV, a pattern of violations.

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