Recovery effort canceled at Kentucky mine where worker fell

CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (AP) — Recovery efforts have been called off at a Kentucky mine where an explosion caused a 62-year-old worker to fall.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said in a news release Monday that welder/iron worker Richard L. Knapp of West Frankfort, Illinois, was presumed dead from an explosion Wednesday at the Kenamerican Resources Inc. Paradise Mine in Muhlenberg County.

The release said methane gases dissipated enough Saturday morning to repeatedly lower a camera, but there was no sight of the worker at the water-filled bottom.

The state said mine owners decided to halt further recovery attempts to avoid jeopardizing rescue workers.

Knapp, an employee of Fricke Management & Contracting of Murphysboro, Illinois, was building a form to be used to fill a mine shaft with concrete in an effort to seal and close the mine.