Man who fell in Nevada mine dies
Rescue teams were called in to find the body of Devin Westenskow, but authorities determined the mine he fell into was too dangerous to enter.
March 5th, 2011
07:10 PM ET

Man who fell in Nevada mine dies

The man who fell into an abandoned northern Nevada mine earlier this week has been declared dead, an official said Saturday.

The Pershing County, Nevada, coroner made the determination around 12:30 Friday afternoon, U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Doran Sanchez said.

There was no safe way to retrieve the body and that the shaft would be sealed, Sanchez said.

The 28-year-old man, who has not been identified, plunged into part of the  Murphy's Mine Complex on Wednesday, officials have said.

Rescue teams were called in, but operations were abandoned shortly after authorities determined that sending anyone into the shaft would be too dangerous, given the mine's age and instability.

They lowered a camera that showed the man still breathing as of 3 a.m. Friday.

Sanchez said the young man had suffered severe head and body trauma injuries during the accident. The man fell into the shaft in part of Pershing County, located about 60 miles south of the city of Winnemuca. The complex dates back to 1895 and had been abandoned.

He worked as a contract employee of a drilling company and grew up in the community, Sanchez said.

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Filed under: Mining • Nevada
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Offtopic

    Wait. . Why was he declared dead? And 9 hours after they saw him breathing on cam?

    March 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mary

    so they are just going to keep him there or what

    March 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AMERICA 1st

    Whoever made the choice to not go after the victim should be thrown into a mineshaft and forgotten about then dump tons of dirt on top of it!

    March 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. meee

    No dilbert they know thir business and if its too dangerous they dont go in. .no debate unless you want to tossed in and cemented

    March 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Richard Roundtree

    These "SHAFTS" clearly state dangs erous..why was he there?

    March 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm


      witcha bad self!

      donna donna donna-duuuuuuhn!

      witcha bad self!


      March 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank - Ohio

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a bad fall. We've been preached this since childhood. Well...I think Humpty Dumpty "was pushed"! 😉

    March 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. drap

    In all fairness..Mother Goose had a full plate,poor Humpty probably never learned to read... .

    March 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RootCANAL

    That's horrible! The guy grew up in that city and they WON'T even help their OWN!!! Ask for assistance you city official morons!! That mine SHOULD HAVE BEEN CAPPED BEFORE this happened NOT afterwards!

    March 6, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Soooo bodies in the Hoover Dam are true?

      March 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Excellent job, captain hindsight. Your work here is done.

      March 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |

    " Pershing County, located about 60 miles south of the city of Winnemuca " is this in the DEEP south?

    March 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oldsoldier

    What a tragedy. I am assuming we had all the worlds experts on this issue. Was Obama there to make sure resources were available, "he was probably on vacation". Did we have the best military people at the site helping? Did we request the help of the worlds experts on this? Did we make sure all resources were exhausted? Who was the expert on site that finally said that this is a problem too big for all the worlds experts and military? This country has suffered greatly in the past couple of years in the area of morals and values and this event just emphasises that fact. Its a shame and someone should have to answer for this death.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ed bailey

    The government agencies that are supposed to protect us can't and won't do their job so what are people shocked about when you get a tough case.

    March 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PresidentScrewb

    I see a James Franco movie in the making. I'm actually really disturbed they didn't go after this guy. I always thought there were heroes who would run into burning buildings to rescue someone. You could get a camera down there but lowering someone down there won't work? I'm staying out of that state and after seeing the movie Unstoppable I'm staying out of Pennsylvania too. I'm surrounded by &$$holes!

    March 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. Centrist

    @Rough: It's Nevada. Toxic waste, casinos, legal whoo-ring, libertarians, and secession supporters.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jam

    He grew up in the area he should have known not to go near the old mine areas but thats common sense

    March 7, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. old man

    They can dig 2000 ft in chile to free trapped miners, but 200ft's too much in the US? Says alot for us doesn't it!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
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