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Body of second miner recovered from Cargill salt mine, identities released

Cargill releases statement on recovery efforts
Cargill scene pic.jpg
Posted at 8:54 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 21:11:30-05

AVERY ISLAND, La.  — On Wednesday, December 16, the Iberia Parish Coroner's Office identified the two miners killed Monday during a roof collapse at the Cargill salt mine on Avery Island.

The two were identified as 27-year-old Lance Begnaud, II of Broussard and 41-year-old Rene Romero, Jr. of New Iberia.

Martin & Castille Funeral Home have announced that funeral services for Begnaud will be held Saturday, Dec. 19 in Lafayette.

Mine rescue teams announced the recovery of the body of one missing miner on Tuesday morning.

Cargill issued a statement on Wednesday about the recovery of the second miner's body:

"On Tuesday evening, the rescue team recovered the second of the two missing miners who was also fatally injured in the accident at our Avery Island mine. Our hearts are broken for our colleagues and their families. To respect their privacy, we will not be sharing further details about the employees at this time. We continue to offer both families support and extend our deepest condolences for their loss.

We care about our teammates and have professional grief counselors on site at our facility who will be available to our team as needed. The safety and well-being of our colleagues is our top priority. We are grieving with the community as we face this loss together.

As rescue efforts have concluded, we now focus on completing our investigation in coordination with the Mine Health and Safety Administration to better understand what caused the accident. We are committed to learning from this tragedy and remain unwavering in our dedication to safe operations."

Early Monday morning, Cargill’s Avery Island salt mine experienced a roof collapse. Two employees were unaccounted for, while all 16 other employees working that shift were evacuated with no injuries reported.

Related Stories:
Body of salt miner recovered after roof collapse
Day 2 of rescue efforts following a roof collapses at salt mine
Roof collapses at salt mine; two miners missing

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