Everyone accounted for after rock burst at Idaho mine

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 9:03 AM

(Reuters) - Everyone is accounted for after a rock burst underground late Wednesday at the Lucky Friday mine near Mullan, Idaho, officials said on Thursday.

Seven people were transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to a video statement from Hecla Mining Company CEO Phil Baker.

Those treated have either been released or are in stable condition, Baker said.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the mine shortly before 8 p.m. local time on Wednesday and activated mine rescue operations, police said.

The mine is currently closed as officials investigate the cause of the rock burst, according to Hecla Mining, the company that has owned and run the Lucky Friday mine since 1958.

No mine blasting had taken place in the mine during the 24 hours beforehand and the rock burst is unrelated to mine activities, the company said.

It was in the process of installing safety measures to prevent rock bursts in the mine, the company said.

The investigation will now be handled by Mine Safety and Health Administration, police said.

The Lucky Friday mine is a deep underground silver, lead, and zinc mine located in the Coer d'Alene Mining District in northern Idaho, according to the Hecla Mining Company website.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Jerry Norton)