Friday, November 5, 2010

Hunter L. Diehl: Man found dead at Pandora Uranium Mine in La Sal

Picture of death on behalf of greed of uranium corporations and lack of regulations!  Demand no to uranium mining and stop the deaths of our loved ones for profit!

Hunter L. Diehl
December 4, 1981 ~ May 28, 2010
Hometown: Moab, UT

Hunter L. Diehl, 28, passed away on Wednesday May 26, 2010 due to a mining accident.

Hunter was born in Grand Junction, Colo. on Dec. 4, 1981 a son of Jean Caine and Jeff Diehl. The family moved to Moab, and after finishing school Hunter took a job working as a mechanic. He became a master mechanic working for Moab 4x4 Outpost, doing what he loved. While living in Moab, he met the
love of his life, Jessie Cruz and they were soon to be married.

Hunter had a great love for life and the outdoors. He was kind, a friend to many, and always quick with his smile. He could engage anyone in conversation and loved to hear stories about “the good old days.” Strangers quickly became friends.

He had a very strong work ethic and was proud to provide for his family. Hunter loved tools and would be the best-equipped hand on any job.

Whether fishing the Colorado River or working with cars, everything he did was with a positive, sunny attitude and with all of his heart. He jumped into life with both feet and a mighty leap.

He was a wonderful father, husband, brother, uncle and son. Gone too soon; he will be greatly missed.

Hunter is survived by his true love, Jessie Cruz; daughters, Emma Doyal and Rachael Lucille Diehl of Moab; his father, Jeff Diehl of Grand Junction, Colo.; mother, Jean Diehl Caine of Moab; grandmother, Terry Caine of Moab; grandfather, Bob Rogers of Spring Creek, Nev.; great-grandmother, Dee Rouse of Fruita, Colo.; brothers and best friends, Dustin Diehl, Shawn Dull and Daniel Hickman, all of Moab; sisters, Katherina (Andy) Burton, La Sal, Utah, Alisha Diehl (Phillip Stubblefield), Natasha Diehl.

Hunter was preceded in death by two grandfathers, Jack Caine and George Diehl, and a cousin, Kodie Kesinger.

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Man found dead at Pandora Mine in La Sal

Associated Press
1:23 PM MDT, May 26, 2010

LA SAL, Utah (AP)


Federal authorities say a uranium miner in southeastern Utah has been killed by a rock fall. Denison Mines (USA) Corp. says the miner died Wednesday morning at the Pandora mine near La Sal, about 30 miles southeast of Moab in San Juan County. Company president and chief operating officer Ron Hockstein says he is distressed by the fatality and is making arrangements to fly to Utah Wednesday from his base in Vancouver, British Columbia, to join U.S. regulators at the accident scene.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says the 27-year-old miner was using a pry bar to remove loose rock when a slab fell on him.

San Juan County sheriff's deputies say they got a call on the accident around 7 a.m. Wednesday but couldn't provide any additional details.

Read more:,0,3872838,print.story

Moab miner killed in uranium mine

By Josh Smith
Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT
LA SAL, San Juan County — A Moab man died Wednesday in a rock fall at the Pandora uranium mine in eastern Utah.

No other miners were injured during the incident, said Ron Hochstein, president of Canada-based Denison Mine Corp., which owns the mine. The mine has been shut down pending an investigation by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Hunter Diehl, 28, was an employee of Moab-based Reliance Resources, which was contracted to run the mine, Hochstein said.

Workers had blasted an area inside the shallow mine before the accident occurred and were working to clear the loose rubble, said MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere. Diehl was apparently using a metal bar to pull loose rock from the roof of the mine when the rock fell on him.

The Pandora Mine reopened in 2006. MSHA records indicate that since 2009, the mine has reported seven accidents, but none were serious or involved rock falls.

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Irresponsible industry…

Moab Times Independent
10.07.10 - 10:56 am

In response to the death of Hunter Diehl at the Pandora Mine in La Sal, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) found that the accident occurred because mine management policies, procedures, and controls were inadequate. MSHA determined that the underground area where the accident occurred was not examined or tested by an experienced worker prior to work commencing in the affected area, that a post-blast examination addressing potential blast-related hazards was not conducted by a trained, responsible person, and procedures were inadequate to ensure workers would scale loose ground from a safe location.

MSHA cited Reliance Denison Mines (USA) Corporation (Denison) for failing to report the accident within 15 minutes of knowing it occurred, as required by MSHA regulations. MSHA first learned of the accident from the media – several hours after it occurred. Denison has already paid the $5,000 fine.

MSHA also cited Reliance Resources, LLC, for failing to report the accident in a timely manner and for requiring a worker to perform work alone in any area where hazardous conditions exist that would endanger a worker’s safety.

None of the violations associated with the accident have actually been rescinded by MSHA. The violations have been terminated, meaning that corrective actions have been taken. This does not mean that the mine owner or operator is off the hook. MSHA has not yet posted the amount of the penalties that have been assessed to Reliance Resources for the five violations associated with the accident.

Since Pandora Mine resumed operation in 2006 and the Beaver Shaft Mine in 2009, both Reliance Resources and Denison have been cited for a number of violations. These include broken equipment, a dirty trailer contaminated with uranium ore dust where workers ate their lunch, high levels of radon and diesel particulates underground, and failure to report all worker hours.

In August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Denison a Notice of Violation for failing to submit monthly reports of their radon emissions from the two mines.

 An EPA inspection in April found that Denison did not have radon monitoring devices placed on three vents that were emitting radon. Denison also failed to put a radon diffuser on a new vent when it was installed in December 2009.

For the workers and community of La Sal, this is not a pretty story. It is not a story of a responsible industry.

It is just more of what the Four Corners Region experienced from uranium mining and milling operations in the past.

—Sarah M. Fields

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