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Two Killed In Coal Mine Collapse

July 26, 1995

JOLIETT, Pa. (AP) _ A tunnel collapsed in a coal mine Tuesday, trapping two miners under crushing, suffocating debris. It took rescuers hours to reach their bodies.

The bodies of miners Allen Dieter, who owned the small mine, and Shawn Kelly were found about 30 feet apart from each other in the tunnel, about 350 feet below ground.

Kelly and Dieter were loading coal in the tunnel and sending it up to a third miner, who was at the top of the shaft with Dieter’s wife when the accident happened, said Randy Bettinger, a fellow miner who helped in the rescue effort.

Dieter suddenly began shouting for help into his hand-held radio. The transmission made it to the top of the shaft, where Dieter’s wife called authorities to the scene, Bettinger said.

Dieter’s body was pulled from the rubble at about two hours after 11:15 a.m. accident, and Kelly’s was unearthed more than seven hours later.

The men, whose ages were not immediately available, likely died of asphyxiation, said Paul Hummel of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

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