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2 workers are dead after an 11-story building collapsed in Kentucky, governor says

Two workers have died after an 11-story building collapsed in Kentucky earlier this week, trapping the men under concrete and steel and triggering a days-long rescue effort.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced Friday afternoon that both workers who were trapped in a Martin County coal preparation plant had died.

Two men were working inside the Martin Mine Prep Plant when it collapsed around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a news release from Kentucky Emergency Management. They were left trapped under “multiple floors of concrete and steel,” the agency said.

The governor said one of the men, Billy Ray Daniels, had died Wednesday. Intensive and rescue efforts continued throughout the week in hopes of rescuing the other worker, Alvin Nees.

“I am sad to report that the second worker trapped inside the collapsed coal preparation plant in Martin County has died,” Gov. Beshear said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “This is a heartbreaking situation, and I hope everyone will join Britainy and me in praying for the families of these two workers and this entire community.”

In a news conference Friday afternoon, Martin County Judge Executive Dr. Lon Lafferty said the bodies of both Nees and Daniels had been located.

“This is not the outcome that we had hoped for,” Lafferty said. “We knew going in that this was a very grim and very difficult situation.”

Lafferty said Nees’ body has been recovered but crews were still working to recover Daniels’ body.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.

Martin County is located along the state line near West Virginia, about 150 miles southeast of Lexington.

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