Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

February 8, 2013

Worker crushed to death at southern W.Va. mine

CHARLESTON — State and federal regulators say a West Virginia coal miner has been killed in Raleigh County, crushed under a scoop.

The victim’s identity was not immediately released Friday, but officials say it happened Thursday night at Pocahontas Coal Co.’s Affinity Mine.

MSHA says the miner was pushing a scoop bucket insert full of trash onto a hoist when the hoist moved unexpectedly. The preliminary investigation suggests the hoist picked up the scoop and trapped the victim underneath.

It’s the second equipment-related death this week.

On Wednesday, 34-year-old Brandon Townsend of Delbarton died when a hydraulic jack exploded on a belt press at Midland Trail Energy’s Blue Creek preparation plant in Kanawha County. Another worker was injured.

Midland Trail is owned by Patriot Coal.

Investigations into both deaths are under way.


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