A worker at the Paradise Mine in Muhlenberg County fell into a mine shaft at about 5:30 p.m. on July 31 as the result of a methane explosion.
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura was at the site on Aug. 1 and said recovery attempts had been hindered by hazardous conditions in the mine. He said, at that time, it was not known whether the worker was alive.
“We have reason to believe there are still dangerous levels of methane gas in the shaft. The Mine Safety and Health Administration doing tests on the atmosphere," said Mura."The mine shaft is being ventilated as we speak, but we have to make sure it is safe before we send someone down into the shaft to look for the worker.”
The worker who fell into the mine if 62-year-old Richard Knapp, an employee of Fricke Management and Contracting in Murphysboro, Illinois.
Knapp was constructing a form that would be used to fill the mine shaft with concrete to close off the mine.
Mura said the shaft is 380 feet deep with water at the bottom.
The mine, located in the town of Bremen, is owned by Kenamerican Resources.