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1 Dead, 1 Missing In Eastern Kentucky Coal Prep Plant Collapse

A yellow miner's hat is placed on top of pieces of coal, with mining tools and an orange safety jacket.Mine Safety and Health Administration

This story was updated on Nov. 2, 2023, with a quote from a Martin County official.

One man is dead and another man is missing after a coal tipple collapsed Tuesday night in Martin County, Kentucky, on the border with West Virginia.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the worker’s death on social media on Wednesday morning. Beshear signed a declaration of emergency in Martin County, and rescue teams were working to locate the missing worker.

“Please pray for the family and loved ones of this individual,” Beshear said on social media of the worker who died.

The 11-story building at the Martin County Mine Prep Plant collapsed around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from Kentucky Emergency Management.

The workers became trapped under tons of steel and concrete.

Local officials said the prep plant had been idle and the workers were salvaging it.

State officials said rescue workers and emergency responders were being deployed from Louisville, Lexington, Northern Kentucky and the Kentucky National Guard.

Lon Lafferty, the county executive, said he was still hoping to have good news to share on Thursday.

“It remains a rescue operation as of this morning, at this time, and we pray that those efforts will be successful.”

The names of the workers have not been released. It isn’t clear what caused the collapse of the structure.