The family of a miner who was killed last year in Idaho’s Silver Valley is speaking out for the first time. In interviews with public radio, the family of Larry Marek says the the mine’s owner, Hecla Mining, hasn’t taken responsibility for its role in the tragedy. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.
Larry Marek’s mining partner Mike Marek says he thinks about his brother every time he goes underground. Mike witnessed the cave-in that killed Larry and says it was clear that the tunnel was too wide to be stable.
Marek: “To me that was a scary looking place. I didn’t even like going in there.”
The Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho, has been closed since December for federally mandated safety improvements. The silver mine had a series of accidents in 2011.
Larry Marek’s daughter, Hayley Marek says the $360,000 dollars in federal fines issued to Hecla for her father’s death isn’t enough.
Marek: “This company did things that caused an accident that killed him and I want to make sure they’re held responsible. f they’re not taking responsibility for that, they need to.”
Hecla Mining says the accident occurred without warning, but the company is improving its safety protocols. Hecla will start rehiring workers later this month.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network