Five miners released from hospital after New Market mine fire

Five miners released from hospital after New Market mine fire

Posted:
Fifty-four miners were in the Young Mine on U.S. Highway 11-E in New Market when a fire started on a drilling rig. Fifty-four miners were in the Young Mine on U.S. Highway 11-E in New Market when a fire started on a drilling rig.
Aileen Combs' son, Jay Combs, was one of the miners who were 800 feet underground in the mine when the fire broke out. Aileen Combs' son, Jay Combs, was one of the miners who were 800 feet underground in the mine when the fire broke out.
"There is a danger that is going to be there ever present, every day," said George Korda, a former spokesman with East Tennessee Zinc. "There is a danger that is going to be there ever present, every day," said George Korda, a former spokesman with East Tennessee Zinc.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

NEW MARKET (WATE) - The investigation continues into a fire inside a Jefferson County mine that left three men trapped for hours Wednesday afternoon.

Fifty-four miners were in the Young Mine on U.S. Highway 11-E in New Market when a fire started on a drilling rig.

The zinc mine near New Market is operated by Nyrstar Tennessee Mines. In a statement released Thursday by Nyrstar, the company said five employees were sent to Jefferson Memorial Hospital for precautionary checks. They have all been released in good health and have returned to work.

Life went on as normal Thursday in Jefferson City for Cloud 9 Hair Salon owner Aileen Combs, but she may have had the scare of her life Wednesday.

Her son, Jay Combs, was one of the miners who were 800 feet underground in the mine when the fire broke out.

"I just went to down the mines just to see if I can find out anything because I wouldn't be sure if it was him or who it is and how bad they were hurt," said Combs.

Her son was able to get out safely. She says he has worked at the Young Mine for about a year.

"He got to call and told me he was okay and told me they got to other miners on the ground," said Combs.

"I've observed mine safety rescue training operations," said George Korda. "It is an extraordinary blessing that nobody is injured."

Korda is a former spokesman with East Tennessee Zinc, the company that owned the Young Mine before selling it to Nyrstar in 2009.

"There is a danger that is going to be there ever present, every day," said Korda.

Nyrstar says it is working with the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) to conduct an investigation to a cause of the accident.

"They have the authority to do whatever they want to do, however long they want to do it, to make sure it doesn't happen again," Korda said about the MSHA.

The Young Mine has been cited for six operator errors this year and seven last year. It is not yet clear if any error caused the fire that happened Wednesday.

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