Crane arrives to assist in recovery of men trapped in gravel pit - - Jackson, MS

Crane arrives to assist in recovery of men trapped in gravel pit

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Emmitt Shorter.....Source: Family Emmitt Shorter.....Source: Family
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Recovery efforts continue for two men buried by a landslide at Green Brothers Gravel Pit in Crystal Springs.

Our crew at the scene Saturday said more than 100 people are at the site working in the recovery effort to locate the two missing men.

Ray Coleman, a spokesman for MEMA, told us during a press conference that the crane arrived after 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Direct access to the site of the accident is blocked off to the media.

Copiah County Emergency Management Agency Director, Randale Drane told us workers spent most of the day building a road to support the weight of the crane.

We're told the crane is as large as an 18-wheeler.

The crane is preparing to pull the heavy equipment up, that the men were last seen working on. 

Our crew at the scene said it is beginning to rain a little, but officials say they do not expect the rain to hinder the recovery effort.

Amy Louviere, with the Office of Public Affairs for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said recovery operations continued Friday night until 11:30 p.m. and resumed at 6 a.m. Saturday.

Louviere said MSHA family liaisons are currently on site with family members.

MEMA Spokesman Ray Coleman says first responders have been on scene since 11:30 a.m. Friday.

According to Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones, the men were completely buried in 10 to 12 feet of mud, sand, gravel and slush. 

"The dangerous aspects we're dealing with right now," said Randle Drane the Director of Emergency Management for Copiah County. "I mean it could take all night or they could do it within a couple of hours."

Teams from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the State Fire Academy and volunteer fire departments are on the scene of the landslide. 

Despite the grim news family members who gathered at the site are hoping for a miracle.

Coleman says a dam on the back side of the pit crashed in and trapped the men inside their equipment.

For hours, work continued to build a secure roadway to lead to the equipment and the two workers.

"Again there's no time table on it," MEMA spokesperson Ray Coleman said, "They're gonna have to take their time on it because that is soft terrain so they have to be safe more than anything."

"They're building that secure road and just as soon as they can get it settled," Coleman said. "No time table on this obviously, so as soon as they can get that settled we are gonna try to recover the two male employees and the equipment."

Fellow employees from Green Brothers have remained on the site helping to build the roadway. 

The Red Cross and Salvation Army have sent emergency teams to Copiah County.

We have been told crews will remain on this site until they reach the two men. 

A team from the Mine Safety and Health Administration is also at the gravel pit.

We are told the roadway is now finished and a crane company is on the way to help with the recovery.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration will conduct an investigation into the landslide and what caused it.

The family of one of the men has identified him as 24-year-old Emmitt Shorter.

Officials from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Copiah County and MEMA are on the scene.

The name of the second man has not been released.

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