Two workers killed in Louisiana mining accident identified

Miner hat
Miner hat(Associated Press)
Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 11:36 AM CST
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AVERY ISLAND, La. (WAFB) - On Wednesday, December 16, the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office identified two miners killed Monday during a roof collapse at the Cargill salt mine on Avery Island in south Louisiana.

The victims were identified as 27-year-old Lance Begnaud, II of Broussard and 41-year-old Rene Romero, Jr. of New Iberia.

Company representatives for Cargill say the collapse happened on Avery Island during the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 14.

Sixteen other Cargill employees were evacuated without injury.

The company released the following statement after locating the second victim:

“On Tuesday evening, the rescue team recovered the second of the two missing miners who was also fatally injured in the accident at our Avery Island mine. Our hearts are broken for our colleagues and their families. To respect their privacy, we will not be sharing further details about the employees at this time. We continue to offer both families support and extend our deepest condolences for their loss.

“We care about our teammates and have professional grief counselors on site at our facility who will be available to our team as needed. The safety and well-being of our colleagues is our top priority. We are grieving with the community as we face this loss together.

“As rescue efforts have concluded, we now focus on completing our investigation in coordination with the Mine Health and Safety Administration to better understand what caused the accident. We are committed to learning from this tragedy and remain unwavering in our dedication to safe operations.”

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