Cargill Closes its Doors as the Avery Island Salt Mine Collapse that Left Two Dead Raises Questions about Safety
Following the December 14th Salt Mine collapse, Cargill recently decided to shutter its salt production on Avery Island. Though its lease expires at the end of 2021, Cargill stated that the business decision was based on future economics and production capacity after a slow winter. All operations at the mine have been suspended since the incident due ongoing federal investigations.
Eighteen employees of Cargill, a global food corporation, reported to work inside Avery Island’s Salt Mine on December 14th. Those employees’ lives would change within hours as the salt mine’s roof collapsed, leaving two employees stranded inside.
24-hour search teams began looking for the missing employees immediately; although, the rescue was not successful until the next day. Around 3:00pm on December 15th, the search team found the first employee and identified him as 27-year-old Lance Begnaud. The second employee, 41-year-old Rene Romero, was found later that evening. Both suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead upon recovery.