Both workers trapped in a collapsed coal plant in Martin County have been found dead.
The body of Alvin Nees, 57, has been located and recovered, Martin County Judge-Executive Lon Lafferty said in an update Friday afternoon. The body will be taken to the state Medical Examiner’s office in Frankfort, Lafferty said.
Workers were still in the process of recovering the body of Billy Ray “Bo” Daniels, he said.
Nees and Daniels were working at Pontiki Prep Plant, which is near Middlefork Wolf Creek Road, Tuesday when an 11-story structure collapsed, trapping them beneath layers of steel and concrete.
Daniels was confirmed dead Wednesday, but the search for Nees had continued with rescuers hoping he might be found alive. A witness reportedly heard Nees talking and praying after the collapse.
“This is not the outcome that we had hoped for, that we had prayed for,” Lafferty said Friday, “but we knew going in that this was a very grim and very difficult situation.”
Lafferty said Kentucky State Police are continuing to investigate.
The plant had been closed for years, and the men were preparing the structure for demolition when it collapsed.
Nees’ brother-in-law, Roger Bevins, told the Herald-Leader Nees was “a humbling guy.”
“He’s really good,” Bevins said. “Anybody that needs any help, he would help them.”
Daniels’ wife, Paula Daniels, told the Herald-Leader she went to the scene of the collapse after it happened, and wanted to get closer to her husband, but officials wouldn’t let her because it was unsafe.
“He was a wonderful person,” Paula Daniels said. “He was a great husband, a good father and the most amazing grandfather.”