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Linwood Mining fatality under investigation; victim identified

Linwood Mining fatality under investigation; victim identified

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Linwood Mining

Heavy equipment covered in dust waits for repair on the underground Davenport level of the Linwood mine near Buffalo in this file photo.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is investigating a mining accident that left one worker dead Wednesday night at Linwood Mining and Mineral near Buffalo.

Emergency crews were called to the mine on Iowa 22 around 10 p.m. for a reported roof collapse and trapped mine worker.

The mine reportedly was closed while emergency crews responded to the call.

The body of the mine worker was recovered and he was pronounced dead by the Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the Buffalo Police Department.

He was identified as Ronald Trich Jr., 52, of Rock Island.

Company President Jonathan Wilmshurst said he worked for the mine for 12 years and was a mine truck operator.

Wilmshurst said Thursday that Trich was found buried in rock in a remote part of the mine where no operations were under way.

Trich was not in a vehicle. Wilmshurst said there were no witnesses to what he called an "isolated incident.”

He did not know why Trich was in that area of the mine and said Thursday morning that the mine is stable and that “nobody is at risk,” he said.

MSHA allowed Linwood to continue operations elsewhere in the mine, Wilmshurst. However, employees were sent home Thursday.

“We didn’t think it was a good idea to expect the guys to work after what we’ve been through,” he said.

MSHA stayed through the night after the accident and will send out investigators in the next day or two, Wilmshurst said. He said the preliminary investigation could take a week or two and a “full blown” report could come in two to six months.

The Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Fire Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Medic personnel responded to the incident.

Linwood Mining is an active underground limestone mine stretching between Davenport and Buffalo. It employs about 100 people and produces about 2 million tons of high-quality limestone annually.

According to a Jan. 8 Quad-City Times story, Linwood Mining began operations in 1944.


Earlier report: One person is dead after a mining accident Wednesday night at Linwood Mining and Mineral near Buffalo.

Emergency crews were called to the mine on Iowa 22 around 10 p.m. for a reported roof collapse and trapped mine worker.

The mine reportedly was closed while emergency crews responded to the call.

The body of the mine worker has been recovered, according to the Buffalo Police Department.

The worker was pronounced dead by the Scott County Medical Examiner's Office.

The name of the worker is not being released at this time.

The Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Fire Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, and Medic personnel responded to the incident.

Company President Jonathan Wilmshurst said Thursday that the man was found buried in rock in a remote part of the mine where no operations were under way.

He was not in a vehicle. Wilmshurst says there were no witnesses to what he called an "isolated incident.

Wilmshurst says the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is letting Linwood continue operations elsewhere in the mine.

Linwood Mining is an active underground limestone mine stretching between Davenport and Buffalo. It employs about 100 people and produces about 2 million tons of high-quality limestone annually.

According to a Jan. 8 Quad-City Times story, Linwood Mining began operations in 1944.

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