The questions continue to swirl over what could have been done to prevent that fatal collapse, especially after it has been learned the owner of that mine was recently cited for numerous citations.
The McElroy Mine, a part of Murray Energy, had received citations for 19 federal safety violations just since March 2.
(RELATED:Marshall County mine cited prior to fatal collapse)
Leslie Smithson of the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training said two of the citations involved creating a roof control plan, and two others involved protection from falls from the mine’s roof, face and ribs.
Then, one of those falls happened.
“The call came in to the 911 center around 8:55 last night,” Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart said.
It was a partial mine collapse, but details were few, and it was unclear what first responders were heading into.
“We activated part of our Mine Emergency Response Plan which included some road closures and additional resources coming into the area just as a precaution,” Hart said.
They learned that 45-year-old John “Mike” Garloch of Neffs, Ohio was dead, and two others were injured. One was flown to Ruby Memorial in Morgantown, the other driven to Wheeling Hospital.
(RELATED: Marshall County Fatal Mine Accident Still Under Investigation)
Because Marshall County has several mine portals, they have response plans in place plus other resources on stand-by.
“The Sheriff’s Department, State Police assisted with that also, the Department of Highways,” Hart said. “We had a very good response from Cameron Fire Department and Cameron EMS as well as Tri State EMS, Limestone EMS, two medical helicopters were brought in.”
People in the community were affected by it.
“The ones in the hospital, I hope they get better,” Cameron resident Bill Clutter said. “So they can get back to work. Cause I know their wives are needing them, and all their families.”
“You hate to hear that you have someone going to work and they don’t make it out,” Hart said. “It’s very tragic and it’s very surreal. All of our thoughts and prayers are going with the victims’ families.”
Safety officials said their investigation report will be coming out soon.