Nevada mine death: Questions on called-off rescue

After a Nevada miner died last week after falling down an abandoned mine shaft, questions are being asked as to when the life of trapped workers trumps the safety of those being sent down to rescue them.

A worker plunges deep into an abandoned mine shaft. Nearly 200 feet down, video images show he is injured but still breathing, trapped by debris.

The century-old shaft, though, is extremely unstable, its walls crumbling. As one rescuer tries to descend to reach the man, he is hit by a large rock, which splits his hard-hat. Other efforts yield more falling rocks and clear evidence: This is going to be a dangerous mission — maybe too dangerous.

The scenario unfolded underneath Nevada last week, when rescue teams were told to stand down in their bid to reach Devin Westenskow, a 28-year-old father of five, even as they had evidence he was still alive.

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