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Senator: 1 miner dead in Ky. coal mine

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PROVIDENCE, Ky. (AP) -- One miner has died in a coal mine collapse in western Kentucky and another was missing, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Thursday after rescuers had to retreat from the underground accident scene.

Mr. McConnell announced the news on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday. A McConnell spokesman said in an e-mail that the senator was alerted by officials with the mine operator, Alliance Coal Co. Alliance did not return calls from the Associated Press.

The miners were reported missing after a roof collapsed late Wednesday. Kentucky Gov. Steven L. Beshear said rescue crews had to pull back after reaching the site of the collapse when the roof became unstable.

Tim Miller of the United Mine Workers of America said at least two others escaped after a rock fall in the mine near Providence, about 150 miles southwest of Louisville.

Mr. Beshear, who traveled to the scene, said rescue workers located one of miners but he was "unresponsive." The rescue crew had to retreat when the ceiling shifted.

The governor said workers were trying to shore up the roof so they could return to the site of the collapse, about 4 miles from the mine portal.

Mr. Beshear met privately for about 50 minutes with family members who have gathered at the Nebo Baptist Church.

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