Trapped Idaho miner found dead after 9 day search

A miner, trapped for nine days after the ceiling of the silver mine he was working in collapsed, has been found dead.

The Hecla Mining Company said the body of 53-year-old Larry Marek, who had been killed in the collapse at the Lucky Friday mine in Idaho, was discovered on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the mine had confirmed that it believed the miner had died.

‘After more than a week of diligently working to rescue Larry Marek at the Lucky Friday mine in Northern Idaho, we are heartbroken to report that we now believe Larry was under the fall of ground when it occurred and is deceased,’ the company wrote.

Mr Marek had been an employee with Hecla for more than 12 years and was a 30-year mining veteran.

Hecla said they would continue to search for Mr Marek and would make every effort to recover his body.

Mr Marek and his brother, Mike, had just finished watering down blasted-out rock and ore in the Lucky Friday Mine on April 15 when the ceiling collapsed about 75 feet from the rock face of the 6,150-foot deep tunnel, the company said.

Mike Marek, who was working at the opposite end of the collapse from his brother, escaped unharmed.

Bore holes for five probes had been drilled from various locations, with four finding sand and rubble and a fifth finding a void, though its size and exact location hasn’t been determined.

Work on the rescue tunnel had slowed as crews encountered increasingly difficult conditions that required a special tunnelling technique that used steel supports to prevent the new tunnel from collapsing.

Phil Baker, president and CEO of Hecla Mining Company, said in a video this morning: ‘Here at the Lucky Friday Mine in Northern Idaho we have been hoping
for a miracle for more than a week, but have now informed Larry Marek’s family that we believe hope for his survival is gone.

‘Words cannot express the deep sorrow we feel at the tragic loss of Larry.’

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