SILVER VALLEY, Idaho--Federal mining accident investigators were in North Idaho on Tuesday investigating a deadly incident that happened Monday at the Sunshine Mine. Nick Rounds, 36, died when he got caught between a piece of mining equipment and the wall of the mine shaft.
It appeared that the incident was an accident. Officials said two miners were working on top of a skip while working in a shaft at the Sunshine Mine. A skip is an elevator, according to officials. Investigators said the miners were getting ready to move the skip when it moved before Rounds was clear. He became caught between the skip and the shaft. The other miner was unharmed.
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A former employee of Sunshine Mine said miners stand or walk on the top of the skip to work on the shaft or inspect it.
“It's an elevator but you communicate with bells so you send a signal to the hoist man and then he has control of it and he takes it to wherever you just told him to take it,” said miner Roger Trumbell. “And until it gets to there, then he'll slow it down and then you give him a bell to stop and then you've take control of it again.
Miners said the skip moved before Rounds was clear. Trumbell said he had an assumption of why that may have happened.
“There was a guy who was on the top who would have gotten a bell to move that skip, and he's gotta be feeling really bad now,” said Trumbell.