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Stay Out Stay Alive Fatal Accident Summaries
for 2008

December 7, 2008

A Michigan Technological University geology professor fell 225 feet to his death in a Houghton County mine shaft while attempting to install emergency steel ladders.

The volunteer worker died Saturday afternoon after falling into the Quincy Mine Hoist No. 2 Shaft.

The sheriff's office told WLUC-TV that the 60-year-old Dollar Bay resident slipped and fell into the shaft in the western Upper Peninsula community of Quincy Township. He fell about 225 feet before striking an object that stopped him and held his position.

The total depth of the mine shaft is 9,000 feet.

Members of the Calumet Township fire and rescue department were able to rappel down into the shaft from the top of the hoist.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff Brian McLean said it was unclear what caused the accident.

"All we know is he fell," McLean told The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton.

County mine inspector Murray Gilles was trying to determine whether the victim was using a harness or safety line, the sheriff said.