MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The sole survivor of the Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 men was transferred Thursday to a rehabilitation hospital, his doctors said.
Randal McCloy Jr., 26, remained in fair condition. He was no longer in a coma but was still unable to speak after emerging from a light coma on Wednesday.
McCloy, who had been in a coma since his Jan. 4 rescue, is able to respond to simple commands and follow movements with his eyes, said Dr. Larry Roberts at Ruby Memorial Hospital. He also is able to chew and swallow soft foods.
Roberts said McCloy continues to show slight neurological improvement each day. He may have suffered brain damage from the carbon monoxide exposure in the mine, but the extent of any damage is not yet known. He has developed a slight fever but remains in fair condition.
McCloy survived the Jan. 2 explosion at the Sago Mine and more than 41 hours of exposure to deadly carbon monoxide. He had been in hospitals in Morgantown and Pittsburgh since then.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
McCloy was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Morgantown.
The Sago blast and a mine fire last week in Logan County that killed two miners led Gov. Joe Manchin to call for mine safety reforms in the state. Lawmakers approved the bill Monday, and Manchin signed the legislation on Thursday.