November 4, 2023 - Alvin Nees, the second worker trapped inside the collapsed coal preparation plant in Martin County, Kentucky, has died, according to Martin County Judge Executive Dr. Lon Lafferty.
"This is not the outcome that we had hoped for, that we had prayed for, but we knew going in that this was a very grim and very difficult situation," said Dr. Lafferty.
Martin County officials say the bodies of both men have been located. Nees' body has been recovered and will be taken to the State Medical Examiner's office in Frankfort for an autopsy. Crews are still working on recovering Daniels' body.
The discovery comes three days after an 11-story building collapsed at an old mining facility in Martin County.
The site is near the small city of Inez. Two men were trapped under that rubble. Officials confirmed Billy Ray "Bo" Daniels later died at the scene, and crews located Nees' body on Friday.
Both men were from Pike County.
KYEM Director Jeremy Slinker says, "Today they've repositioned equipment to go to that, those next areas of interest. And started early this morning. A lot of frost and dew, frost still on the ground. And rescuers were getting the brief and hitting the pile really early and they've been working ever since."
Slinker says that environmental teams have been in the area to mitigate areas of potential contamination. They say there's no public safety concern and explain that the teams that are working here from around the state have been provided protective gear and have trained professionals on-site.
"Every operational period has a safety officer trained in what's safe. If there's any question, they go find the experts that we have around us to ask what's safe -- and then those become rules and standards that are implemented beyond certain points,” says Slinker.
Martin County's community and communities from around the state have added to this mission’s efforts. Including by offering food, services, prayer, and support.
"This county has come together and rallied around this situation and around this family and that part of it is a wonderful thing to see in the midst of a dire situation,” says Dr. Lafferty.
Leaders shared that OSHA has begun its processing of looking into the scene and what caused the incident. They've shared that Kentucky State Police will also be conducting a death investigation.