Section of Kensington Mine Remains Closed After Accident

Memorial services for a Juneau man killed last week in an underground accident at Kensington Gold Mine are Tuesday at 3:00pm at the Juneau Christian Center. 30-year-old Joe Tagaban died Wednesday while working at the 1,260-foot level underground.  It was the first fatality since the mine opened in June 2010.   Rock from an underground blast struck Tagaban, according to a preliminary report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The report says he had been working near a previously drilled hole that had not been plugged. The blast sent a concussion of rock through the hole, striking him.   That section of the mine remains closed while the investigation is underway, according to MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere.

MSHA and mine owners Coeur Alaska are investigating the accident. Investigators from the MSHA Boise office have been at the mine since last week to gather evidence from the scene, conduct interviews and piece together an accident timeline. Louviere says the investigation could take a few weeks or even months.

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