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Efforts Underway To Recover Worker From Muhlenberg Mine Shaft

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Crews are working to recover a 62-year-old man who has fallen down a mineshaft in Muhlenberg County.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesperson John Mura said Richard Knapp was working Wednesday afternoon at Paradise Mine in Central City to seal and close a mine. He says a methane gas explosion in the elevator shaft caused Knapp to fall. Mura said dangerous levels of methane gas are preventing state and federal teams from sending someone down to search for Knapp.

 

“Before… right now there are explosive levels of methane gas in the shaft that have to be cleared out before someone can go down. Some equipment is being brought down to ventilate it,” Mura said.
 

All operations of the mine are shut down. Mura said they don’t know if Knapp is alive. He said the shaft is about 380 feet deep with water at the bottom. The owner of the mine, located in the town Bremen, is Kenamerican Resources.

 

Rhonda Miller began as reporter and host for All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.