A 40-year-old Cortez man was seriously injured and required a helicopter transport to Denver last week while working at GCC Energy’s King II coal mine near Hesperus.
Rod Allen with Durango Fire Protection District said a report was received around midnight Wednesday that the man was injured at the mine. Ultimately, the man required an airlift to a Denver hospital, he said.
Allen did not have further information on the incident.
A GoFundMe page identifies the injured miner as Luke Morris. Attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful Monday morning.
According to the GoFundMe page, Morris suffered fractures to his pelvis, a broken arm and lacerations to his liver and kidney. He has worked as a coal miner for five years “tirelessly to support his family,” according to the site.
“Luke is a loving husband, father, brother, son and friend to so many,” organizers wrote. “Luke will have a long road of recovery ahead, so hopefully, we can give them some peace knowing things are covered.”
The fundraising effort had reached $3,120 of its $100,000 goal as of Monday morning.
Attempts to receive an update on Morris’ condition were unsuccessful Monday.
Mica Ward, a spokeswoman for GCC Energy, declined to go into detail about what caused the injury, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law that protects a person’s health information. She said GCC Energy is working with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, otherwise known as MSHA, the agency that investigates accidents at coal mines.
A spokeswoman with MSHA declined to comment about the incident, other than to say it is under investigation.
Ward said GCC Energy followed emergency plans and procedures to remove the man from the mine.
A review of MSHA records of GCC Energy by The Durango Herald that date back to 2010 found there have been no serious accidents or fatalities at the mine during that time.
“It’s one of the safest mines in the country,” Ward said. “(This injury is) very out of character for this workforce and this mine.”