Monday, October 30, 2006

43rd Coal Miner Killed In 2006

Deaths in the nation's coal mines reached 43 today with the death of a West Virginia miner. This is the most coal miners killed in the workplace since 1995 when 47 coal miners were killed. Twenty-two coal miners were killed last year.
The victims were preparing to work on a shuttle car on a slope about 7 a.m. when the coal transporting vehicle moved, said Caryn Gresham, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.

The miner who was killed was crushed between the shuttle and the mine's wall, she said. The other miner, a mechanic, suffered shoulder and chest injuries. He was taken to a Charleston hospital, where his condition was not known.
The accident occurred in Bluestone Coal's Double Bonus No. 65 Mine on Pinnacle Creek in southern West Virginia.

With the number of coal miner deaths rapidly approaching twice as many as last year, miners are just now looking ahead to winter, when most mine accidents occur:
Federal statistics show most coal mine explosions occur during winter. Cold, dry air makes it more difficult to control methane gas and coal dust, the key sources of most coal mine explosions.
This was the third mine fatality in a little over a week.

More 2006 Mine Disaster Stories here.