Miners who died, collapsed at Brookwood No. 7 are identified
Jim Walter Resources Inc. officials have identified two miners who collapsed in the Brookwood No. 7 mine last night. James Chaney, 53, of Berry died in the mine. Milton Etheridge, 59, of McCalla was found collapsed and was taken by helicopter to UAB Hospital after his rescue this morning. He was listed in good condition at the hospital this afternoon. “They each had decades of coal-mining experience,” said Dennis Hall, spokesman for Jim Walter Resources. Jim Walter officials also responded to a report by a federal mine safety official that low oxygen was to blame for Chaney’s death. “We don’t know how anyone could come to that conclusion at this early stage of the investigation,” Hall said. Two other miners on duty and three members of the mine rescue team showed signs of heat exhaustion during the rescue, which involved about 20 people at one point this morning. An additional three miners became ill today while working on the ventilation system after the rescue effort, a a company spokesman said. The mine’s tunnels occupy an area of 10 to 15 square miles.