Two mine workers killed in Ste. Genevieve

STE GENEVIEVE, Mo. (KSDK) – Two workers died at Mississippi Lime Company in Ste. Genevieve Friday morning after a boom collapsed inside a mine.

Ste. Genevieve County dispatch says the accident happened inside a mine off Highway 61 around 9:42 a.m.

Leo Basler, coroner for Ste. Genevieve County, says that while 54-year-old John Hahl, of Farmington, and 29-year-old Chris Rawson, of Hillsboro, were in a suspended basket removing loose rock from the mine, the rock hit the basket and detached it. The men then fell to their deaths.

Mississippi Lime produces calcium products and calcium-based solutions, including hydrated lime and quicklime, according to its website.

Friday afternoon, Mississippi Lime President Bill Ayers released the following statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of the two team members who died this morning at our Ste. Genevieve mine at approximately 8:30 a.m. CDT. Our initial investigation indicates there was an accident involving a piece of underground mining equipment. Emergency crews were called immediately, but were unable to save the team members. We are still working to notify the families and will release more information soon. All operations at the scene of the accident have been stopped while Mississippi Lime works with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to conduct an investigation."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, two people have died previously in separate incidents in 2002 and 2007. In 2002, mechanic Jerry Vaughn was struck by a dust collector bag that was dropped from a third floor window, according to the report. He died at the scene of the accident.

In 2007, contractor welder Skeets Myrick was injured on the job when a 42-inch diameter pipe struck him. He died in the hospital a few days later, according to the report.

No other injuries have been reported, and no further information was immediately available.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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