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Man dies in equipment collapse at inactive mine site

MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — A man working to to tear down old silos at an inactive mine in West Virginia died when one of the structures collapsed on equipment he was operating, authorities said.

James Simpkins, 73, owned a recycling company that was tearing down the silos Wednesday at the former Hobet mine in Boone County, Danville Fire Chief Justin Chafin told news outlets. One of the silos fell on an excavator Simpkins was operating, he said.

Crews dug through the rubble and found Simpkins, who was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

It is not clear what caused the collapse, but Chafin said it appears to be an accident.