Recovery operation underway at Kentucky coal mine

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky officials say a recovery operation is underway at a coal mine where an explosion caused a 62-year-old worker to fall.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet said in a news release Thursday that the blast happened Wednesday afternoon at Paradise Mine in Central City.

The cabinet said welder/iron worker Richard L. Knapp was constructing a form to be used to fill a mine shaft with concrete as part of an effort to seal and close the mine. Knapp is an employee of Fricke Management & Contracting of Murphysboro, Illinois.

The release said a methane gas explosion in the shaft caused Knapp to fall.

Cabinet personnel from across the state as well as representatives of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and owner Kenamerican Resources Inc. are at the site, and mine operations are shut down.

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