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2 killed, 20 injured in Colorado mining accident

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 18, 2013 at 1:47 am •  Published: November 18, 2013

OURAY, Colo. (AP) — Two workers were killed and 20 others injured Sunday in a mining accident near the southwestern Colorado town of Ouray.

Authorities said that the two who were killed died from carbon monoxide poisoning, the Denver Post reported.

The officials said at a nighttime news conference that the source of the gas was under investigation, with officials looking at whether a small explosion in the mining process might have caused it.

The 20 injured were taken to area hospitals, and all but two were treated and released, Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said. There was no immediate word on the conditions of the two hospitalized workers.

The Montrose Daily Press reported that 10 of them went to Montrose Memorial Hospital, where officials say they were treated for carbon monoxide exposure. It wasn't immediately clear if the remaining 10 also suffered from exposure to the gas.

Rory Williams, the operations manager for Denver-based Star Mine LLC, said all of the men are required to wear personal respirators and the two who died had them. He said that it doesn't appear to be an equipment malfunction, the Post reported.

Whitmore said that the Ouray County sheriff's office was called to the Revenue-Virginius mine at about 7:20 a.m. The miners were underground and were confirmed dead Sunday afternoon.

She said that mine owner Star Mine Operations has accounted for all of the workers at the site.

Both the Daily Press and the Post identified the dead as 34-year-old Nick Cappanno of Montrose and Rick Williams, 59, of Durango.

"I knew both of these individuals personally," said Rory Williams, who said he is no relation to Rick Williams. "They were hard-working men. They were great men. They will be remembered indeed."

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