Kentucky Miner Injured in Bell County Dies

July 30, 2008

A coal miner has died after being injured earlier this month in an incident at an underground mine in eastern Kentucky.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says in a preliminary report that 45-year-old Joseph D. Roberts was riding on top of a scoop on July 17 when he was injured at the Butcher Branch Mine near Beverly in Bell County. The report says the driver attempted to stop the scoop and dropped the bucket to the mine floor, causing the scoop to bow and pin Roberts against the mine’s roof.

Roberts was hospitalized in Bristol, Tenn., where he died on July 25 during emergency surgery.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports it’s the first underground mining death for the state in more than a year and a half.

MSHA spokesman Matthew Faraci says there will be no conclusions about the incident until a final report is made public.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

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