Man Dies After Being Crushed at West Virginia Mine

April 26, 2010

A West Virginia coal miner died Friday after being crushed between a piece of heavy equipment and a block of coal, officials said.

The 28-year-old man was injured late Thursday night and died at a Charleston hospital about 12 hours later, said Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The man was pinned between a continuous mining machine he was operating and a block of coal.

The victim, whose name has not been released, had five years of experience and had worked at the mine for two of them, according to Jama Jarrett, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.

The accident occurred at the Beckley Pocahontas Mine about 60 miles south of Charleston in Raleigh County. Owner International Coal Group said it idled the mine Friday out of respect for the victim and his family.

The company said it is cooperating with MSHA and state investigators.

The death comes less than a month after 29 West Virginia miners died in the nation’s worst coal mining disaster in 40 years. Federal and state investigators have been unable to enter Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine since the final victims’ bodies were recovered April 13.

Nationally, 33 coal miners have been killed in 2010, according to MSHA.

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