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Rescue halted for man trapped, spotted in abandoned Nevada mine

From Melanie Whitley, CNN
  • A man, 28, fell into an abandoned mine Wednesday, a federal spokesman says
  • Rescue teams weren't able to get to him, but did send a camera down to where he is
  • He was shown moving his hands Thursday night and was breathing on Friday morning
  • A spokesman says the rescue effort has "stopped" due to "dangerous conditions"

(CNN) -- Citing perilous conditions, rescuers halted their efforts Friday to save a man who fell into an abandoned northern Nevada mine, making their decision hours after video footage showed signs of life.

The 28-year-old man plunged into part of what's called Murphy's Mine Complex on Wednesday, according to JoLynn Worley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. At 3 a.m. Friday, a camera recording him showed that the man was breathing but no movement.

Still, by Friday afternoon, the rescue operation was suspended, said Worley.

"It appears that due to the hazardous and dangerous conditions of that shaft, the rescue efforts were stopped," she said.

The man, who has not been identified, 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.

Rescuers from the sheriff's offices of Pershing and Landers counties, as well as from search and rescue teams affiliated with the Newmont Mining Corporation, Washoe County and the U.S. Navy tried to locate the man Thursday. Several rescuers went down into the shaft, but were not able to get to the man, according to Worley.

But a camera was sent down did pinpoint his location, feeding up images to authorities on the outside. As of 8 p.m., footage showed that the man was alive and moving his hands.