Two other miners have been killed this year as well, one in Kentucky, and one in Utah Sunday night.
W.Va. mines shut down after two more deaths (6:06 pm)
The Associated Press
Two mine workers were killed in separate accidents in West Virginia on Wednesday, prompting Gov. Joe Manchin to call on all coal companies to cease production until safety checks can be conducted.
"We're going to check for unsafe conditions, and we're going to correct any unsafe conditions before we mine another lump of coal,'' Manchin said.
A miner was killed at an underground mine when one of the supports along the wall popped loose, said Caryn Gresham, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.
A bulldozer operator at a surface mine died after the machine struck a gas line and sparked a fire, said Dirk Filpott, a spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The deaths brought to 16 the number of mining-related fatalities in West Virginia since Jan. 2, and the first at a surface operation.
While Manchin's call was voluntary, he also ordered the state's mine inspection schedule speeded up so that all 229 surface and 315 underground mines are examined by regulators as soon as possible.Oh yes, discussing hazards and precautions will certainly make things safer. Who needs oxygen, communications equipment or fire-resistant conveyor belts when you can fix things much more inexpensively by just taking a "time out" to discuss hazards and safety precautions?
"We're going to check for unsafe conditions, and we're going to correct any unsafe conditions before we mine another lump of coal," Manchin said.
He was later joined by David Dye, acting U.S. assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, who urged coal mines nationwide to conduct a brief "time out" Feb. 6 to discuss hazards and safety precautions with workers.
More mine stories here.