Va. Agency Warning People About Dangers in Abandoned Mines

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) The drowning of two people is leading a state agency to investigate local mines and quarries.

Phillip Subblett and many of his friends and classmates enjoy exploring abandoned mines. For them, it's just another summer day for students across the Valley.

"People like the adrenaline rush and I guess it is trespassing in some places, but people just like that adrenaline rush of going in there and doing something crazy," explained Phillip.

It's a trend he said that is made popular by movies and YouTube clips.

Now, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and, Energy is warning people that this trend is not only dangerous, but deadly.

"Don't do it. Find a safe place to have a good time. It's just not a good place to go and have fun because all too often it ends tragically," said Jim Smith, a mine inspector with the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

He said more than 200 people have died on these sites during the past two years.

In the past week, two people from Virginia drowned while swimming in a mine or quarry.

"The problem is when you get in there you are in extremely deep water. It can have sudden drop offs, the water is very cold and if a person gets in distress, it is difficult for them to get to safety," said Smith.

He said you never know what rocks and equipment may be under the water, which can trap swimmers.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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