CaptGrumpy Posted September 3, 2007 Report Share Posted September 3, 2007 I saw this and thought of how many of us ride cluelessly around some of the biggest dangers!PHOENIX - The unmarked mine shaft was so well-hidden, rescuers searching for two missing sisters walked right by it in the darkness.But in the light of day on Sunday, they were finally able to see the tracks of an all-terrain vehicle leading into the northwestern Arizona mine shaft, a 125-foot vertical drop concealed by brush and devoid of signs or barriers.When the girls' father yelled into the gaping hole, only one daughter answered.Rescuers who rappelled to the bottom of the mine found 13-year-old Rikki Howard dead. Ten-year-old Casie Hicks had "major injuries" and was listed in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital Sunday evening."A 10-year-old girl has spent the night at the bottom of a mine shaft, which is the most horrifying thing I can think of," Capt. Greg Smith of the Mohave County Sheriff's Office told reporters.The girls' relatives were at the hospital and declined to comment.The girls and their dad had been out riding for fun Saturday night in Chloride, about 200 miles northwest of Phoenix."They were having a holiday weekend jaunt riding ATVs in the mountains there," Smith said.Their father was riding ahead of them on his dirt bike when he noticed they were no longer behind him."(The girls) were driving along and they went into the mine. It was a total accident," Mohave County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said.Rescuers searched throughout the night, but Edwards said the rough terrain and darkness were too much."During the night, our team walked by the site because the hole itself was hidden by this line of brush," she said.Seth Johnson, a neighbor of the girls and their family's landlord, said the two were half-sisters. "It's an awful shock," he said. "Their parents are very distraught."Cathy Kelso, a bus driver, said she has been driving the two girls to school for a year and a half. "They're little sweetheart girls," she said. "I just keep hoping it's not true, but it's horrible."The mine shaft the girls fell into is like thousands of others throughout the state that are unmarked and open, officials say. They describe the shafts as accidents waiting to happen."There's a significant amount of abandoned mines out there that are hazardous to the public's health," said Laurie Swartzbaugh, deputy director of the Arizona State Mine Inspector's office.Swartzbaugh said the Chloride mine had not been used for some time, and that the office was investigating. The office has secured 108 abandoned mines since Jan. 1.It was not immediately clear who owned the mine. Many abandoned mines date back to the early 1900s and it is sometimes impossible to determine who owns them. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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