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Rescue Effort Underway For Man Who Fell Down Mine Shaft Near Columbia

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Columbia, Ca — Tuolumne County Search and Rescue personnel are staged near the 21000 block of Jack Page Rd between Sonora and Columbia as 34-year-old Darvis Lee Jr. has fallen down an old mine.

According to Deputy Dan Crow, Lee went exploring shortly after nine o´clock Friday evening and did not return. A friend then went looking for him early this morning and was able to locate him in the mine.

The initial report was that Lee had fallen 15 ft., but officials now believe it is around 75 ft. Because of the incline and terrain, a mine shaft team from Los Angeles County has been called in to assist.

Crow says that Lee may have a broken wrist and ankles, and is currently in a couple feet of water at the bottom of the mine. Search and Rescue Team members have been communicating with him, and have been working to get hot soup and liquids down to his area.

According to Lee´s father, Darvis Lee Sr., this was likely his son´s first time in the mine shaft. ?I think he was just exploring and decided to walk through, and that´s just not a good thing to do.?

The father praises the Search and Rescue Team´s effort to this point, saying, ?They´ve pulled out all the stops.?

Currently the rescue effort is on hold as they wait for the team from L.A. to arrive. The mine is located on BLM property.

Written by BJ Hansen