Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 13, 2012

Arch cited for July death of W.Va. coal miner

CHARLESTON — West Virginia officials have issued 12 violations, including four likely to carry large fines, in the July death of a Raleigh County coal miner.

Forty-three-year-old Gregory Byers was crushed between the operator’s compartment of a coal scoop and a mine wall at Arch Coal’s Pocahontas Mine near Eccles. He’d been charging the scoop’s battery when it was struck by a second scoop.

The Charleston Gazette says the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training determined the charging station and wall were positioned so Byers’ scoop jutted into an adjoining tunnel.

State officials issued eight regular violations and four “special assessments” for violations including disturbance of evidence by company employees before the state’s investigation began.

The special assessments typically carry larger fines, but the report released Thursday didn’t list amounts.

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