MAC: Mines and Communities

US miners continue being sacrificed to coal

Published by MAC on 2011-11-14
Source: Associated Press

Although the number of coal mining fatalities in China far outranks those suffered elsewhere in the world, mining companies in the USA are also responsible for an acceptably high number of preventable deaths.

During the past fortnight, three miners were killed in Kentucky alone - bringing the number of coal mining-related deaths in the state to seven this year so far.

In the country as a whole, eighteen coal workers have died in "accidents" since the beginning of 2011.

Another coal miner killed in Kentucky

By Ken Ward Jr.

The Associated Press

8 November 2011

The Associated Press reports:

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

Crosses and sign act as memorial to dead US coal miners
"Pray for our miners" Source: Ken Ward jr, Charleston Gazette

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.

The report continued:

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.

There are reports from the Courier-Journal and the Herald-Leader here and here.

This is the 18th U.S. coal-mining fatality this year, and Kentucky now leads the nation with 7 deaths, just ahead of West Virginia, with 6.

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