Worker Killed in Virginia Silo Collapse

ASHBURN, Va. (AP/WJLA) – The 18-year-old worker who went missing after a silo collapsed and spilled tons of debris at a Loudoun County quarry has been found dead.

Loudoun County Fire Department officials confirmed the man was found deceased early Tuesday morning after an almost 24-hour search.

The 80-foot silo partially collapsed around 6:38 a.m. at the Luck Stone Leesburg Quarry in Ashburn Monday morning. The missing man was working near the silo at the time of the collapse.

Luck Stone, which is based in Richmond, issued a statement Tuesday confirming the man’s death.

“Despite tremendous recovery efforts, it is with great sadness that Luck Stone announces our associate did not survive the accident. Out of respect for the associate and the family, Luck Stone is keeping the identity and name of the associate private. Luck Stone wants to give the associate’s family time and privacy during this time of loss,” the statement read.

“We are a family here at Luck Companies and today, we lost a family member. Our hearts go out to the associate’s family and they will remain In our thoughts and prayers. We will be remembering, honoring and celebrating the associate for the contributions and positive impact he made on our company,” Charlie Luck, president and CEO of Luck Stone added in the statement. “We will continue to ensure the safety and the success of our associates is our main responsibility.”

It is still unclear how or why the silo collapsed.

The man was due to turn 19 in a few weeks. He was only employed at the quarry for two months, a worker tells ABC 7.

A Loudoun County Fire Department spokesperson said dozens of rescuers responded to the scene on Monday, including members of Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue team.

Rescuers used listening devices, hand tools and vacuum trucks, but could not find the man.

“Early on we brought in canines… to try to get an immediate hit… and locate the gentlemen… those efforts did not find anyone alive at this point,” said Loudoun County Assistant Fire Chief Keith Johnson.

Crews rounded up heavy cranes, engineers and rigging experts to shore up the silo and make it safe enough to resume the search. Rescuers worked in teams, trading out every 15 minutes because of the danger involved. Search efforts were suspended for several hours Monday out of concern over the structural integrity of the damaged silo, but resumed after 8 p.m.

As of Tuesday morning, all of the mineral filler has been removed from the site. Officials are now in the process of removing all of the steel structure that collapsed. Chainsaws and other machinery being taken in to remove the beams so they can move the body.

Officials from the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration remain on site to investigate the accident.

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