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Two killed, one critically injured after accident at potash mine near Moab

Posted at 2:13 PM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 16:15:06-05

GRAND COUNTY, Utah -- Two people were killed an one was critically injured after being electrocuted at a potash mine in Moab Saturday.

According to a Facebook post made by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, just after 12 p.m., three men were electrocuted at the mine when the industrial equipment they were operating touched a power line.

Two of the men, identified by sheriff's officials as Russell Helquist and Matthew Johnston, died at the scene. The third victim, identified as Arthur Secrest, was found at the scene of the accident unconscious. He was transferred to a medical facility in Salt Lake City via medical helicopter, officials said.

All of the men were living in the Moab area.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of these good men," the sheriff's office said in the post.

Intrepid Potash, a company based in Denver, Colorado, is a fertilizer manufacturer. According to their website, "the company is the largest producer of potassium chloride, also known as muriate of potash, in the United States."

A statement released by Intrepid Potash said a “corporate crisis management team has contacted the appropriate authorities and the cause of the accident is currently under investigation. Operations at the Moab facility have been suspended pending the initial investigation," the St. George News reported Sunday.

The Moab Intrepid Potash plant is located at Hwy 279, Mine Site Road. The company also has locations in Wendover, Utah, and Carlsbad, New Mexico.