At approximately 7:20 am yesterday morning, the Ouray County Sheriff received a call from 911 dispatch that there was an incident at the Revenue Virginius mine requiring response. The Sheriff’s Office, along with Ouray Fire District, and Ouray County EMS responded.
Two individuals are confirmed deceased and are identified as Nick Cappanno, age 34 of Montrose, Colorado and Rick Williams, age 59 of Durango, Colorado. The Coroner’s preliminary report is that the cause of death for both men was carbon monoxide poisoning.
Nineteen (19) people were taken to various hospitals in the region. This is a correction from previous press releases reporting that 20 were taken to area hospitals. Ten (10) were taken to Montrose Memorial Hospital. Eight (8) were treated and released; two (2) were admitted. Both were reported to be in fair condition according to Leann Tobin, PIO. Five (5) were taken to Delta County Memorial Hospital, only one was admitted. That patient was also reported to be in fair condition. Finally, four (4) were taken to Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital and only one was admitted. Once again, that patient was reported to be in fair condition.
Responders initiated a rescue operation for two miners who remained underground. These are the individuals who have been confirmed as fatalities by the Ouray County Coroner. An explosion and mine collapse have been ruled out as the cause of the incident by Ouray County Sheriff Mattivi.
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has been notified and will have jurisdiction for investigation of the incident. Because this is an active investigation, additional information will be limited at this time. The response of Ouray County Emergency Management is now completed. Questions regarding the investigation or other follow-up should be directed to MSHA or the Company.
Ouray County Sheriff’s Office thanks the following agencies for their response and assistance: Ouray Police Department, Ridgway Marshal’s Department, Ouray County EMS, Ouray County Fire District, Ouray Mountain Rescue, Ouray County Coroner’s Office, Ouray County Emergency Management, Ouray School District, San Miguel County Emergency Management, Gunnison County Emergency Management,Ridgway Fire, District Attorney’s Victims Advocate, Ouray County BoCC, San Juan Mine Rescue, St. Mary’s Careflight out of Grand Junction and Tri-State Careflight out of Montrose and Durango. There has been an outpouring of support and donations of supplies and food from the community.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who were involved in this tragic accident.
A Press Conference was held at 9:30 pm last night at the City of Ouray Community Center. 320 6th Ave., Ouray, Colorado.
Ouray County / Mine Incident Contact: Marti Whitmore 303-886-0597