Day 6: Family and friends remain hopeful men will be found - - Jackson, MS

Day 6: Family and friends remain hopeful men will be found

L-R, Emmitt Shorter and James 'Dee' Hemphill (Source: Family and Facebook) L-R, Emmitt Shorter and James 'Dee' Hemphill (Source: Family and Facebook)

Crews in Copiah County continue to work around the clock, trying to locate two missing miners. 

It's been six days since James Dee Hemphill and Emmitt Shorter were buried in this gravel pit. 

Construction equipment became trapped in a landslide with the men on June 3. The cab of one of the trapped vehicles has been uncovered, but still no sign of the missing men. 

Wednesday, progress has been slow for rescue crews at Green Brothers Gravel Pit, but family and friends are remaining prayerful. 

"I pray every night and I hope that he still breathing, that he's still alive. I mean I'm not going to give up hope until they pull him out," said Rokedrick Johnson, a cousin of Emmitt Shorter's.

Tuesday night the rescue team discovered an excavator, but they are still moving sand to locate the cab. Prayers continue to go up for both Shorter and James 'Dee' Hemphill.

"Dee, he meant a lot to everybody. He was the most kind, sweetest person. Every time you see him he had a smile," said Marsha Helton, a friend of Hemphill's.

Crews have been putting in long hours, but some family members believe there should be a stronger effort. 

"I feel that it could have been a round the clock effort instead of on and off and on and off, because these two lives that's basically still living down there that had to just suffer, said Johnson.

"It's a bad situation, tragic situation. I hate it had to happen out here, but Crystal Springs is basically a big sand-shell. People should have been did something about that," added Crystal Springs resident Joey Mickle.

The community is showing an outpouring of support and hoping these men are found soon. 

"I just wish my prayer could be answered but I know it's not going to be," Helton added.

Wednesday the Mine Safety and Health Administration said the team was not able to locate the cab of the excavator (the second piece of machinery). They said it appeared the boom of the unit was twisted and not in line with the cab.

As of Wednesday afternoon some of the rescue team was sent home to rest, but contractors continued to dig out the sand hoping to locate the two men.

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