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Two mine workers die in Ste. Genevieve County accident

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two mine workers are dead in an accident inside a mine in southeast Missouri.

Ste. Geneveieve County Coroner Leo Basler says the men were in a basket extended from a truck several feet into the air, removing loose rock from either the wall or the ceiling of the mine. Basler says loose rock hit the basket and detached it. The men fell to their death.

The accident happened about 9:45 a.m. Friday inside a lime mine operated by the Mississippi Lime Co. near Ste. Genevieve, about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

Basler said no one else was hurt.

The victims were identified as 53-year-old John Hahl, from Farmington and 29-year-old Chris Rawson, from Hillsboro. Investigators with the Mine Safety and Health Administration are on the scene.

St. Louis-based Mississippi Lime Co. makes calcium products and calcium-based solutions.

Statement by Mississippi Lime Company regarding Ste. Genevieve mine Accident:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of the two team members who died this morning at our Ste. Genevieve mine at approximately 8:30 a.m. CDT.  Our initial investigation indicates there was an accident involving a piece of underground mining equipment.  Emergency crews were called immediately, but were unable to save the team members.  We are still working to notify the families and will release more information soon.  All operations at the scene of the accident have been stopped while Mississippi Lime works with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to conduct an investigation.”

“The Mississippi Lime team lost two valued members this morning in an accident involving a piece of underground mining equipment.  We just spoke with the family and expressed our deepest sympathy for their loss.  The team members who died were 53-year-old John Hahl, from Farmington and 29-year-old Chris Rawson, from Hillsboro.”