MOUNT MORRIS – A salt loader in the American Rock Salt mine caught fire Wednesday afternoon, sending about 50 workers promptly out of the mine and to safety.
Joe Bucci Jr., environmental manager at American Rock Salt, said that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are currently monitoring carbon monoxide levels throughout the mine, and American Rock Salt mine rescue teams are standing by to investigate when CO returns to a safe level.
“A loader caught fire Wednesday afternoon, and about 50 mine workers were evacuated in about half an hour,” said Bucci Jr. “Our safety and rescue teams handled the evacuation, and MSHA, the Sheriff’s Office, and Emergency management were alerted to the situation.”
MSHA has been on site since Wednesday.
Bucci Jr. said that now that they know that everyone is safe, mine rescue teams will investigate when the mine’s air is cleared.
“Right now we are monitoring mine exhaust fans to check carbon monoxide,” said Bucci Jr. “We are not sending anyone into the mine until the smoke clears, then we mobilize our rescue teams and they perform a mine recovery, checking all areas of the mine before anyone goes back in.”
The mine rescue team on site included award winning mine rescue team member Patrick Moore, who received the Team Leader Award in 2014’s Mine Emergency Response Development (MERD) training drills in Berkeley, West Virginia.
Once all areas are considered safe by MSHA, the mine will be back to normal production.