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Kentucky miner's body found after roof collapse at Darby Fork mine

James Brown was working about 14,000 feet underground when the roof collapsed.

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. — According to officials, a Kentucky miner has died after a roof collapse happened while he was working underground.

33-year-old James D. Brown of Lynch began his shift as a roof bolter operator late Sunday and was working about 14,000 feet underground when the collapse happened about an hour later, according to a statement from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

He was working at the D-29 Darby Fork mine in Harlan County, which is owned by Inmet Mining LLC, of Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to Hunter Hobson, CEO of Inmet Mining, crews recovered the body after spending all day and night Monday searching for Brown.

All mine operations were shut down. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine early Monday morning, the EEC said. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the collapse and how it could have been prevented.

“We are heartbroken at the news,“ said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Please join me in expressing my deep condolences to his family, friends and community.”

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