Tornado Rips Through Massive Wyoming Coal Mining Site Injures 8
Written by Associated Press on June 24, 2023
Tornado that ripped through massive Wyoming coal mining site injures 8 people, officials say
CAMPBELL COUNTY, Wyo. (AP) — A tornado that ripped through a massive coal mining site in northeast Wyoming halted operations, but only eight people were injured and no deaths were reported, officials said Saturday.
The tornado hit the North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Campbell County around 6 p.m. Friday during a storm complex that also delivered tornadoes to neighboring counties.
The Gillette News Record reported that 12 empty train cars were knocked over. The tornado hit during shift change at the mine and also flipped over multiple buses that were there to transport workers, according to Leslie Perkins, Campbell County public information officer.
The Campbell County Fire Department responded to the surface mining operation about 64 miles (103 kilometers) south of Gillette.
Six people were transported by ambulance to Gillette, one victim was transported to Douglas and another refused treatment. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
All workers were accounted for after a search by the mine’s search and rescue team, which was assisted by the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds said.
Melissa Smith, a meteorologist and hydrologist with the National Weather Service office in Rapid City, South Dakota, said the storm system scattered tornadoes throughout Campbell, Natrona and Johnson counties.
“The tornadoes would form, come down, stay on the ground and come back up,” Smith said.
Peabody Energy Inc., the operator of North Antelope Rochelle Mine with headquarters in St. Louis and South Brisbane, Australia, confirmed six employees were being treated in hospitals as of 11 p.m. Friday and that all employees had been accounted for.
“Operations have been suspended until we can fully assess facility damages and begin the process of restarting safe operations,” Peabody said in a statement Saturday, which did not provide specifics about the damage caused by the tornado.