Sunday, April 09, 2006

2006 Coal Mining Deaths Now Surpass 2005

Two more coal miners were killed Friday in separate accidents in underground mines in West Virginia, bringing this year's to 18 for the state and 23 for the country. Twenty-two coal miners were killed in all of 2005, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
A miner at the Mystic mine was killed at 12:15 p.m. Friday while running a continuous-miner conveyor belt at Candice No. 2, said Caryn Gresham, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training. She declined to release the miner’s name.

The miner was killed after being pulled into the conveyor belt, said Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. She didn’t know where in the mine the miner was killed.

The second accident happened about 3:15 p.m. at the Jacob No. 1 Mine, Gresham said. Robert Runyon, 48, of Belfry, Ky., was the victim in that accident, a Mingo 911 dispatcher said.

Louviere said he was operating a 15-ton locomotive, and was killed after rock and roof-support materials fell on the machine.
The United Mineworkers union, which represents the Candice No. 2 Mine, has dispatched experts to help with the investigation.

UMWA president Cecil Roberts issued a statement saying that:
Today's tragic toll means that in just over three months of 2006, more miners have been killed on the job than in all of 2005. Indeed, today's deaths are the 44th and 45th in the United States since February 1, 2005. We are seeing a dramatic increase in fatalities in the nation's mines, and the UMWA continues to call on Congress, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the various state mining regulatory agencies to act–and act now–to strengthen the laws, regulations and oversight of America's coal mines.
More mining stories here.