Two workers remained trapped Wednesday after a Kentucky coal plant collapsed with them inside.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order early Wednesday declaring a state of emergency in Martin County following the collapse of a coal preparation plant.
“Two workers are trapped inside and a number of teams are working to rescue these individuals,” Beshear wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “The Order mobilizes state resources to help.”
“Kentucky, please join Britainy and me in praying for their safety and for the brave teams working to rescue them. We will share more information as available,” the Democratic governor added.
In a later update, Beshear wrote, “Kentucky, keep praying — but the scene is bad and we should be prepared for tough news out of Martin County.”
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and arrived about 10 minutes later to discover a 10-story coal preparation plant had collapsed while two men had been working inside, WYMT reported.
“This coal preparation plant has been out of commission for a while, for several years,” Martin County Sheriff John Kirk told the outlet. “It’s my understanding that the coal company sold it for basically scrap, and they were salvaging what they could out of it.”
The sheriff said the project preparing the structure for demolition had been ongoing for about eight months.
“They typically take these down in sections. They fall them, you know, cut torch and fall them in section,” the sheriff explained. “We believe that’s what happened. That it just didn’t fall the way they had projected it to fall and it actually closed around them.”
Kirk said the building collapsed while the two men were on the bottom floor, trapping them beneath tons of rubble. While the Pikeville Fire Department was first to make contact with one of the workers, responders from several agencies did not initially get in touch with the second, and the tedious rescue effort is said to possibly take days.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.