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Stay Out! Stay Alive!
Stay Out! Stay Alive!
Near Misses
Incidents that could have resulted in a fatality, but did not.


Workers had to blast through a seal to reach the inactive portion of a mine while trying to rescue two men who entered a West Virginia mine apparently to steal copper. Thirty-six workers from other company operations, including two mine rescue teams, to search for the men.

Rescue teams who tried to enter an inactive portion of the mine were initially blocked by roof falls. The search was delayed for hours for drilling and testing to ensure the sealed portion of the mine could be safely entered.

'hat portal was very, very unstable,' said Kanawha County Sheriff's Lt. Sean Crosier.'A lot of people have put their lives right on the line to try and save these guys.'

The two men, Aaron Hudgins, 26, of Gallagher and Ruan Patrick Rucker, 24, of Hugheston, walked out of the mine on their own Thursday night and are charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny and attempted grand larceny.

The search marked the second time crews have entered the company's a non-producing mine in the past year to look for suspected copper thieves. Last August, two men were found about 3,000 feet inside a mine in the same general area of Kanawha County after a four-hour search.