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Man who fell in Nevada mine dies

By the CNN Wire Staff
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.
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.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 28-year-old man fell into an abandoned mine Wednesday
  • Rescue teams were unable to reach him
  • He was declared dead early Friday afternoon
  • Authorities say they will seal the shaft

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

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

Sanchez said there was no safe way to retrieve the body of Devin Westenskow, and that the shaft would be sealed.

Westenskow, 28, plunged into part of what's called Murphy's Mine Complex on Wednesday, officials 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 Westenskow still breathing as of 3 a.m. Friday.

Sanchez said Westenskow had suffered severe head and body trauma injuries during the accident.

He 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.

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

 
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