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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    WV - Clay Epperly, 30, Keystone, 29 Aug 2016

    Search for WV man ends after he got separated from friends in an abandoned coal mine:

    Epperly and three friends - 38-year-old Steve Cordle, 35-year-old Brandon Collins and 22-year-old Justin Bolen - entered the mine Monday night. Epperly became separated from the group, and the friends went back into the mine looking for him about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
    Read more: http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/storie...09-01-20-16-55

    Family members of Clay Epperly, 30, of Keystone, told the Daily Telegraph Thursday that the search is over, and the manís body was not found. The family members said the mine is now going to be sealed.

    Rescue crews searching for Epperly encountered too many dangerous situations underground to continue the search, the family members said.
    Read more: http://www.bdtonline.com/news/rescue...09ecde4cd.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Family continues to hope for miracle, despite the mine being sealed and the search ending: http://www.wvva.com/story/33006792/2...-for-a-miracle

    I feel for them. I wonder if he could have wandered out of the mine when he got separated from his friends and is injured outside someplace? That's the only chance they have of finding him at this point. Doesn't look good though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I really wish they'd give it a couple of weeks before they seal it. Miracles do happen even though the probability is low.
    My opinion only, unless referenced or supported by a link. Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    According to this news item he has been "pronounced dead". This is what the family states. How do they know that he is even in there? He could have gotten out before his friends. Unless, they have some sort of evidence that he is in there I cannot understand the statement that he is "pronounced dead".

    Do more than belong: participate.
    Do more than care: help.
    Do more than believe: practice.
    Do more than be fair: be kind.
    Do more than forgive: forget.
    Do more than dream: work.
    William Aruthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Still missing, presumed deceased.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    The three that were with Clay in the mine were arrested in Oct 2016:
    5 arrested in McDowell County copper thefts

    MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WVVA) - State Police in McDowell County have charged five people in connection with copper thefts that occurred at the Keystone No. 1 mine.

    The five suspects are each charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, transferring stolen property, and trespassing. See a list of those arrested below:

    • Dustin Bolen, 21, of Kimball, WV
    • Justin Bolen, 22, of Kimball, WV
    • Brandon Collins, 35, of Kimball, WV
    • Steve Cordle, 38, of Kimball, WV
    • Jimmy Church, Jr., of Kimball WV

    All five men were arraigned in front of Magistrate Richard VanDyke and are currently being held in the McDowell County Holding Facility on $50,000 bond each.
    Three of the men arrested were reportedly with Clay Epperly, 30, when he entered the Keystone No. 1 mine this past summer never to return. Rescue efforts were hindered by poor oxygen levels and Epperly was eventually pronounced dead.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    The rescue team that attempted to recover Clay from the mine won a national competition in Sept 2017:
    McDowell mine rescue team earns first place in national competition

    WELCH — Nobody expected them to win, but a McDowell County mine rescue team beat all expectations when competing teams demonstrated their skills at the National Mine Rescue Competition.

    The Southern Pocahontas Mine Rescue Team located in Welch finished first during the National Mine Rescue Contest’s first day, Trainer Donnie Coleman said. Team members had to meet prearranged challenges set up Sept. 19 at the National Mine Safety Academy in Beaver.

    Every two years, teams are invited to the National Mine Rescue Competition, Coleman said.
    Members of the Southern Pocahontas team participated in the January 2015 rescue of a lost man at the Keystone No. 1 mine in McDowell County. They also among the rescuers who searched in late August 2016 for another man who was lost in the same mine. Despite a major effort, that man, 30-year-old Clay Epperly, could not be found. The mine was later sealed.

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