EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSTAND DOWN UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
WV Mine Safety In Spotlight; Community Mourns Miner Death
Reported by: Rick Lord
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Feb. 20, 2013 6:37 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 9:21 AM EST
Raleigh County , West Virginia
A community mourned the death of a coal miner in Raleigh County on Tuesday .
Shuttle car operator John Myles, 44, of Hilltop died after being hit by a scoop as he shoveled coal ribs at the Pocahontas Coal Company's Affinity Mine. Myles had four years of experience as a miner and had been at Affinity for a little more than a year.
The accident marked the second mine death at the mine this month. A miner from Bluefield, Virginia was killed at the site Feb. 7.
Following the fatal accident, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered a mine safety stand down. Tomblin said he would support new mine safety rules if the accident probes of a half-a-dozen deaths since
December show they would make a difference.
This isn't the first time a West Virginia governor has called for a safety stand down.
In April of 2010, then-Gov. Joe Manchin ordered a day-long halt in production to honor the 29 men killed in the Upper Big Branch mine explosion. Four years earlier, Manchin had called for a safety stand down after 16 miners died in accidents at Sago and Aracoma.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking coal companies to halt production for an hour to review safety procedures following the state's fourth coal mining fatality in two weeks.
Tomblin on Wednesday signed an executive order urging mine operators to hold safety talks with employees over the next 24 hours.
The move comes after 44-year-old John Myles of Hilltop was struck by a scoop Tuesday night and died of his injuries. The death at Pocahontas Coal Co.'s Affinity mine near Sophia was its second this month.
Federal records show that mine has been cited for safety violations 65 times since January.
The company said it's concerned, but the two deaths appear unrelated. State and federal investigations are under way.
Six miners have died in the past two-and-a-half months.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
In the wake of the latest mine related death in West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has called for a safety stand-down for all mines in the Mountain State.
The governor is expected to sign an executive order about 1 p.m. Wednesday during a press conference at the state Capitol. That order will call for a statewide mine safety stand-down.
Keep checking wchstv.com for updates on this developing story.
A shuttle car operator died from injuries he received while working at Pocahontas Coal Mine’s Affinity Mine in Raleigh County, a state official said.
This marks the fourth mine fatality in West Virginia this year, said Leslie Fitzwater, public information specialist for the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
John Myles, 44, of Hilltop was hit by a scoop as he shoveled coal ribs about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fitzwater said.
Myles had a total of four year’s experience as a miner, and had worked at this mine for one year and two months prior to the accident.
This is the second fatality at the Affinity mine this month. On Feb. 7, Edward L. Finney of Bluefield, Va., 43, died of injuries from an accident at the mine, Fitzwater said.
The federal Mine Safety Health Administration said 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.
In another fatal accident, Glen Clutter, 51, of Baxter died of severe head injuries he suffered on Feb. 12 as he tried to put a loaded supply car back on track at CONSOL Energy's Loveridge Mine near Fairview.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 6 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.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
2012 NEWS: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to email@example.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.