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Guy Killed in Benson, AZ


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Seen a guy working a bank digging under a few 500lb boulders. Tried to tell him that wasn't the way. He no longer got out from under them and one came crashing down. I think he chit his Shorts.

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Homie ... that is a game changer for sure! Moral of the story ... carry a spare pair of shorts when digging under banks! Seriously .... I was at Rich Hill area one day showing someone how to run their 705 ... we were near one of the many mine entrances (I call the death tunnels) ... I gave a quick swing of my pick to the top of the entrance ... not real hard mind you just an average swing ... down came this huge chunk of dirt and rock ... guessing it would easily top 500 pounds and would surely seriously hurt someone if not kill them should it fall on them. Stay away from those shaft and tunnel openings. The areas around the shaft perimeters can easily give way and provide you a slide for life to the bottom of the hole ... no one would even know where to start looking for you. As Bill said ... "Be safe out there!" ---Mike F

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This is all too common with Rock Hounds and Bottle Diggers, I have personally been involved in two body recoveries, both digging crystals and present at two bottle diggers body recoveries it is not a pretty sight!

My wife once received a severe cut when a hole only just a little over knee deep collapsed on her, it broke the handle in half on a new #2 shovel which probably saved her from worse injuries. I myself had some close calls bottle digging mostly in New Orleans in the early 1970's.

I hope I have gotten smarter over the years, I see holes left on claims that I would not go into and people that enter abandoned mines are playing Russian Roulette !

Max

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I think Louis L'Amore wrote a story called Dead Man's Drift about a real similar situation. Scary as crap! You have to fight that urge and keep your wits about you.

My condolences to the guy who got buried and his family.

Paul

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I was recently at one of our club claims and my friends were digging at the base of a 20+' vertical face with large rocks sticking out and another section which was undercut, loose looking material, by hand digging. One of them had found two very small flakes of gold so do you think they would stop digging when I cautioned them? No! It ended well this time but every visit to this spot shows signs of new digging.

Ed

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This is so tragically common and resembles other situations we find ourselves in frequently;

that last drink before you drive, texting in the car,

taking just one more bit of dirt from under that overhang.

The same temptations arose when we were dredging.

I count my blessings that I learned this lesson early and I was lucky enough to have a proactive partner.

When either of us saw a dangerous situation developing, we would cave in the hole.

Just one of the benefits of working with a partner and having a mutual agreement for safety.

My condolences to the fellow's family and friends.

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I saw this stupidity kill 2 folks in 1 summer up by Iowa hill crossing on the NF American-1 guy underwater squished and drowned and yet another undermined a HUGE boulder and crawled under it 1 time too many and smashed like a grape...Err on the side a caution as the life you save may be your own,a friends or a relative. Pizza Man was one of them brainless few,who die young,who jus' loved to undermine,thank god he quit mining when I fired his dumb arse-John

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That's why I haven't been around a dredge for about a dozen years. 10 feet down is a bad time to find out your partner is a moron.

Opposite of digger into an overhang is the guy who thinks digging on top is safer. When it goes it ain't like the movies where you can just surf it down. Saw a small collapse--- like a meat grinder on the legs.

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This topic reminds me of a time I was near Randsburg on one of the GPAA claims. I was out in the middle of the week and no one else was there. I was shooting the dry wash piles and decided to get into one of the holes where they had been digging. It was only about 4 feet deep and I was just detecting and scratching around and the whole ledge just came crashing down. It put a few scratches on my legs but I wondered if I would have gotten half buried ... who would find me?

This was not even a mine. I don't do that again. I'll stay out or knock it down before I get in.

Mitchel

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