Two miners were trying to remove a water pipeline at a gold mine in northeast Nevada last month when the pipe burst, killing one and injuring the other, according to a preliminary report issued by federal safety investigators.
Alejandro Castaneda, 49, who had been working for nearly 20 years at Nevada Gold Mines’ Goldstrike Underground mine, was killed in the Jan. 23 accident, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said.
Pedro Morquecho was injured in the accident at the mine in Eureka County north of Carlin, the Elko Daily Free Press reported. He was treated at an area hospital and released.
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The two miners were removing steel waterlines with hand tools “when one of the waterlines suddenly broke apart,” MSHA said. “The waterline struck both miners, killing one and injuring the other.”
The mine employs 554 workers, MSHA said. An investigation into the the accident is continuing.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and coworkers of the employees involved,” Nevada Gold Mines said in a statement following the accident. “Our primary focus is supporting those involved and working to fully understand the circumstances that led to this event.”
The last hardrock mining fatality in Nevada was nearly a year ago when a truck driver was killed in a crash on Feb. 14 at NGM’s Cortez Underground Mine, the Frees Press reported.