After ten days of searching, the body of a missing worker has been found, after the bulldozer he was operating went into a slurry pond at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant in Lumberport.
Monday morning, a spokesperson with CONSOL Energy told 5 News that dive and rescue teams were able to reach the bulldozer in the impoundment. They were able to cut in the canopy of the bulldozer, and the divers confirmed that the worker was inside.
There is no estimate on how long it will take to recover the worker's body from the bulldozer.
The worker's name is being withheld. An investigation into the accident is still underway.
ORIGINAL STORY (12/7):
A complex dive effort to recover a bulldozer driver missing in a massive West Virginia coal slurry pond will begin Saturday morning, eight days after he went into the muck.
CONSOL Energy's Lynn Seay says federal officials approved the plan late Thursday.
Pennsylvania-based CONSOL also got permission to resume use of its slurry pond, which takes waste from the Robinson Run mine prep plant in Harrison County.
The dive attempt involves lowering a 40-foot pipe vertically to the dozer location.
Divers will go down through as water jets push away silt. They'll work by touch to try to locate the missing man, who hasn't been identified.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration says a dog brought to the site Thursday night indicated the team is working in the right spot.
According to MSHA officials four individuals were working in the saddle dam area of the slurry impoundment when a massive failure occurred. A section of that area that was about 650 feet long, 20 to 25 feet above the water surface and 70 feet back from the water's edge, broke and slid into the impoundment. Two miners noticed that a failure was about to occur and they turned to run. They were both pulled into the water.
One of these miners swam to the shore and the other one was rescued by Nutter Fort Fire and Rescue. One bull dozer worker was further back from this area and was not affected. The other bull dozer operator, who is still missing, was the innermost worker. He was inside the machine when it submerged into the slurry.
There's no word on what quite caused this accident. The Associated Press said some people familiar with the process of expanding a dam, which is what crews were working on, said it's likely someone pushed too far, too fast.
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