Crews trying to cut through bulldozer cab to retrieve Consol min - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Crews trying to cut through bulldozer cab to retrieve Consol miner's body from slurry pond

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The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued an update on Thursday, Dec. 13 regarding removing the CONSOL Robinson Run employee.

Crews have been working to cut the bulldozer cab, which started Thursday at 1:55 p.m., according to MSHA Spokesperson Amy Louvre. The first dive was at 9:25 a.m. and divers encountered heavy frost and ice Thursday morning.

Crews had to reposition the pipe several times and they plan to continue working through Thursday evening.

CONSOL said it continues to provide regular updates to the miner's family members. CONSOL has not released the name of the employee. MSHA, the W.Va. Department of Mines, CONSOL Energy and other agencies are investigating the cause of the accident.

The recovery operations at the CONSOL Robinson Run Mine in Harrison County were suspended Tuesday night. The divers at the recovery site needed to acquire different tools needed in the attempt to cut through the top of the bulldozer cab and retrieve the victim, Louviere said.

The divers had previously attempted to cut a small hole using torches in the top of the cab, but were unable to maintain an arc, and water and slurry significantly inhibited the cutting process.

The missing Robinson Run CONSOL employee was located inside the bulldozer cab, according to an update from CONSOL Energy on Monday morning. Dive and rescue teams completed a series of pipe dives throughout the weekend that helped to determine the position and location of the bulldozer in the Robinson Run Preparation Plant impoundment. The teams were able to reposition the pipe and adjust the water jets Sunday evening in preparation for a Monday morning dive.

Monday morning, crews cut an opening in the canopy of the bulldozers and divers were able to confirm that the employee was inside.

The unidentified man was swept into the massive lake of slurry November 30 when a section of embankment collapsed. Two other employees also went into the impoundment, but were rescued.