Accident at W.Va. Coal Mine Traps, Kills Two
WHARTON, W.Va. (AP) – State and federal officials say two workers who were trapped when the ground failed at a West Virginia mine with a history of safety violations have died.
Officials for federal and state safety agencies say the accident occurred just after 8:45 p.m. Monday at Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County, about 50 miles south of Charleston.
Amy Louviere of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said the miners’ bodies were recovered.
The state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training identifies the workers as 48-year-old Eric D. Legg of Twilight and 46-year-old Gary P. Hensley of Chapmanville.
No additional injuries or trapped workers are reported.
The state agency said preliminary indications show that a coal outburst was responsible but provided no other details.
Mine owner Patriot Coal didn’t immediately respond to emails or phone calls.
In October, the safety agency designated the mine as a pattern violator, meaning it had repeatedly broken federal health and safety regulations in the previous year.
Mine owner St. Louis-based Patriot Coal said in a statement at the time that it believed the mine didn’t qualify for the status and that it intended to contest it.
During the most recent review period, MSHA cited the mine for 192 safety violations, including 33 for high or reckless disregard for miners’ health and safety.
The mine also received four citations this month for violations including damaged rollers or other conveyor belt components.