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UPDATE: Man found dead after Luck Stone quarry accident in Loudoun

Photo courtesy/Loudoun County Fire and Rescue
Update, 8:00 a.m.

The 18-year-old employee of Luck Stone Leesburg quarry was found dead at around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Search crews found him trapped inside the collapsed silo under large volumes of mineral filler and metal equipment, according to a release from Loudoun Fire and Rescue. Around 200 tons of material came out of the silo, the Virginian Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy said.

Luck Stone is keeping the worker's identity private while the family mourns, the company said in a statement.

"We are a family here at Luck Companies and today we lost a family member," Charlie Luck, president and CEO at Luck Stone, in a statement Tuesday. "Our hearts go out to the associate's family and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers. We will be remembering, honoring and celebrating hte assocaiate for the contributions and positive impact he made on our company. We will continue to ensure that safety and the success of our associates is our main responsibility."

Update, 11:14 p.m.

An 18-year-old employee of Luck Stone Leesburg quarry in Ashburn remains unaccounted for after a silo collapsed at the facility early this morning. Crews continue their search into the night.



Update, 8:25 p.m.:

Cranes and heavy equipment have stabilized the collapsed Luck Stone quarry silo, and search and rescue efforts for the missing 19-year-old quarry employee continue.




Original story, 11:41 a.m.:

An 18-year-old employee of the Leesburg Luck Stone quarry in Ashburn remains unaccounted for after one of the quarry’s silos collapsed, according to Loudoun Fire and Rescue.

Fire and Rescue dispatched a team at 6:28 a.m. Monday to Luck Stone on Belmont Ridge Road, where the company informed them the 19-year-old man had been in the vicinity of the collapse and had not yet been found.

The sand plant silo in question reached a height of 70 to 80 feet, according to Fire and Rescue, a “significant structure” that released large amounts of mineral filler used in asphalt for roadway repairs when the silo fell.

In the search, two dogs from Fairfax County’s Search and Rescue team are on the scene but have had no hits at this time.

While still ongoing, the search was suspended around 9 a.m. while crews wait for resource equipment to help support the unstable remains of the silo. Once the structure is secure, crews will continue the search closer to the silo.

Loudoun Search and Rescue, Loudoun Sheriff’s Office and the fire marshal remain on scene.

The Mines Safety and Health Administration and Virginia Occupational Safety and Health will handle the investigation of the incident.

The investigation into potential causes and parties at fault will take four to six weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy spokeswoman Tarah Kesterton. If the department finds Luck Stone at fault, they will write the quarry a violation.

Right now, the priority remains the search and rescue endeavor.

Luck Stone officials today released a statement, saying a metal tank storing stone dust unexpectedly failed.

“Our associates are an extension of our family. Uniting and standing together with the associate’s family, colleagues, and community, we are hopeful for the best possible outcome," said Charlie Luck, CEO of Luck Companies in a prepared statement. “Our Company was founded on the premise “we care” and today as we go through this challenging time, our connection, concern and compassion is first and foremost for the missing associate and their
family.”

This is the second quarry incident in Loudoun this year. In May, a scheduled blast at Sterling’s Loudoun Quarries sent rocks and debris into cars, homes and businesses.

The investigation into that incident is still ongoing, but the blasters themselves, Winchester Building, were written a violation by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, according to Kesterton.

According to Kesterton, these kinds of incidents are few and far between. Laws and regulations in place are designed to minimize mishaps.

“This specific incident hasn’t happened since I’ve been here, and I’ve been here over a year now. None of these accidents are common,” Kesterton said. “I don’t think a risk can be quantified. We enforce safety, and safety is our priority … You can’t really quantify a risk of going to work every day.”


Editor's note: Loudoun Fire and Rescue determined today the man was 18, not 19.
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