Deadly carbon monoxide detected following fatal mining accident

OURAY COUNTY, Colo. - Deadly carbon monoxide was detected Monday in an Ouray County mine, following a mining accident that killed two employees and sent 19 others to the hospital.

A miner and shift foreman were killed in the accident.

Early reports indicate that one miner went into an area where blasting was done previously. When he didn't come out, the foreman went in after him.

The two were later found by others, who evacuated the mine.

Three of the miners hospitalized after an accident at the Revenue Virginius Mine in Ouray County were released Monday.

The dead were identified Sunday night as Nick Cappanno, 34 of Montrose, and Rick Williams, 59, of Durango.  The company declined to give their job descriptions out of respect to the family.

Josh Freed says his close friend Nick Cappanno dreamed of farming with his young family, and used the job at the mine as a means to an end.

"His big aspiration was to be working somewhere with his boys would be by his side, walking through the fields - that's what he wanted," Freed said. "He's got two young boys, and they meant everything to him. And his wife is impossibly strong, but this is an impossible situation, too."

Rick Williams' family says he spent his life in gold and silver mines to support his family, but enjoyed hunting and fishing in his free time.

Before the investigation into this incident can begin, the mine operator has to submit a plan for them to re-enter and determine if the harmful gases are still present.