Man dies after equipment collapse at mine

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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UPDATE 4/28/21 @ 8:42 p.m.

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A man has died after an equipment collapse at an inactive mine in Boone County, according to Danville Fire Chief Justin Chafin.

According to Chafin, the victim is James Simpkins, 73.

Chief Chafin says Simpkins owned a recycling company from Logan that was doing work at the Hobet silo when the incident happened Wednesday evening. It was reported around 5:45 p.m.

A recycling crew was working to tear down old silos when one fell on an excavator. Crews from across the region worked for hours to get into the rubble and recover Simpkins body.

According to Chafin, the Charleston and South Charleston Regionalized response teams were on the scene, along with Danville VFD, Madison VFD, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, and state mine inspectors.

It is not clear what caused the collapse, but Chafin said it appears to be an accident.

The mine is not currently active. It’s unclear who’ll investigate the incident because the site’s no longer active.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.


BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A man is trapped Wednesday evening after an equipment collapse at a mine in Boone County.

According to dispatchers, it happened when a silo fell. That silo hit another piece of equipment and trapped the man.

The extent of injuries are unknown at this time.

WSAZ has a crew at the scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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