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Trapped Consol miner was Sago mine disaster responder

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Career Consol Energy miner Markel Koon, whose body was recovered Dec. 14 from the Robinson Run slurry impoundment, was a member of the teams that responded to the January 2006 Sago mine disaster that claimed 12 of 13 miners.

Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration records show a "Mark Koor" as a member of the Robinson Run Mine Rescue team at Sago, but the United Mine Workers of America's account indicate that that is a misspelling of the name Mark Koon.

Only Randal McCloy survived the blast at Sago.

A 37-year Consol Energy employee, Koon was dragged in a bulldozer to the bottom of the Robinson Run impoundment on Nov. 30 when the section of dam he was working to expand collapsed.

When the slurry proved too thick for divers, it took a two-week effort to locate the bulldozer, flush sediment out of the way and cut into the cab.

Koon's body was recovered by divers on the afternoon of Dec. 14 and transported to the chief medical examiner's office in Charleston, where an autopsy will be conducted.

He was a 58-year-old resident of Shinnston.

Koon was one of 65 miners from the Bailey, Blacksville 2, Enlow Fork, Loveridge, McElroy, Robinson Run and Shoemaker mines and Eight-Four Mining Co. who the UMWA credits with responding at Sago.