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One man was killed in a demolition accident at the former Hobet site in Boone County on April 28.

BOONE COUNTY — A man was confirmed dead in an accident that occurred last Wednesday, April 28, at the former Hobet Mining site near Julian, visible from U.S. 119.

Shaffer Road was the location of the accident, according to fire department records.

James Simpkins, 73, was killed when a silo that his company, S&S Recycling, was hired to demolish collapsed on an excavating machine he was operating.

The Charleston and South Charleston Regionalized response teams, the Danville VFD, Madison VFD, Boone County Ambulance Authority, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Police and West Virginia State Mine Inspectors all responded to the accident.

According to Danville VFD Chief Justin Chafin, the cause of the the collapse was unknown at press time, and it was not yet determined whether MSHA or OSHA will investigate the accident.

The initial call came into Boone County 911 at 5:38 p.m. and extrication was complete by 8:15 p.m.

Boone County Emergency Management Agency/911 director Michael Mayhorn said the mutual aid from Boone and Kanawha counties was crucial.

“I can’t say enough about all of the agencies who responded this evening, and their work and dedication is valued and appreciated,” he said.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at or at 304-307-2401.

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