Trio Safely Rescued from Abandoned WV Mine

The search of the Rock House Powellton Mine in Clear Creek, W.Va., ended successfully Dec. 12, with all three people inside brought out safely.

Three people for whom authorities had been searching inside the abandoned Rock House Powellton Mine in Clear Creek, W.Va., were safely brought to the surface Dec. 12. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that rescue squads found Cody Beverly, 21, Kayla Williams, 25, and Erica Treadway, 31, around 6:30 p.m., and they were safely out of the mine by 7:30 p.m. and then were transported for medical treatment.

The three had entered the mine Dec. 2 along with a fourth person; that individual made it out of the mine and was able to provide details regarding the location of his three companions.

Gov. Jim Justice then authorized additional personnel and resources to aid in the rescue. "When I learned that the missing people were still in the mine, I said we needed to go as fast as we can go to get back in there and get them out," he said. "From the beginning, I've said we needed to use all the resources available to us. Many prayers were answered when the one individual exited the mine with information about where the others were located. We are praying they can be found quickly and brought out to safety."

The Office of Miners' Health, Safety & Training, the state National Guard, WV state police, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and mine officials coordinated on the search and rescue efforts.

This was the second abandoned mine trespassing incident in the past two weeks, causing Justice to issue a statement on Dec. 9: "All West Virginians who are driving, riding ATVs, or hiking near abandoned mines please STOP entering the abandoned mines. This is extremely irresponsible behavior that puts our first responders and mine safety crews in unsafe situations when they should be focused on ensuring safety at active mines. I cannot stress enough how dangerous these abandoned mines are and how hazardous they are to humans."

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