Underground Miner Killed in Kentucky

November 9, 2011

A foreman has been killed at an underground mine in eastern Kentucky, the third mine-related fatality in the state in 10 days.

State officials said in a statement that due to the recent deaths, analysts from the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing will provide on-site training and safety reminders to miners and operators beginning next week.

Investigators said Jerry Britton, 47, was struck by a personnel carrier Monday morning inside the Hubble Mining Company’s No. 9 mine in Letcher County. Britton, of Pound, Va., was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It was the state’s seventh mine-related death this year. It happened 10 days after two workers at a western Kentucky surface mine were crushed by falling rock and debris in their truck.

Office of Mine Safety and Licensing Director Johnny Greene said he hopes the training the begins Monday will make miners more aware of safety issues that have caused the accidents.

Hubble’s No. 9 mine has had two accidents this year, including in July when a worker was injured by a hydraulic jack, according to federal data. The mine is closed pending an investigation.

Before the recent deaths, Kentucky had been on pace to record its lowest fatal tally at coal mines since 2007, when there were two.

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