Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials

FEDERAL officials confirmed in their preliminary findings on this week’s fatal accident in Alabama that the slain miner had several years of experience and was not new to the mine or his appointed duties.
Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials Killed Alabama worker was experienced: officials

Shoal Creek mine, courtesy Drummond Company.

Donna Schmidt

US Mine Safety and Health Administration investigators revealed that victim was longwall utilityman Julius Walker III, 28.

Walker was moving a spare longwall power center on September 11 at Drummond Coal’s Shoal Creek mine in the central region of the state when he was pinned to the rib.

The worker, who was given CPR at the scene but pronounced dead at the surface, had seven years of mining experience, the agency said.

Walker had been with Shoal Creek for five years and had three years on the job as a longwall utility crew member.

A federal investigation has started, but it was not clear Thursday if the mine was still under a 103k order to idle production.

The fatal accident was the second at the mine in 2012. On March 23, 37-year-old shuttlecar operator Harold Ennis died after being electrocuted by an energized trailing cable.

The 630-worker Shoal Creek mine is located in Jefferson, Walker and Tuscaloosa counties and is Drummond’s only underground operation in the US.

The company has a surface mining complex, also in Alabama, as well as holdings in Colombia.

The medium-volatile, low-sulfur metallurgical coal-producing Shoal Creek operation is the largest mine in Alabama and one of the largest underground operations in the US.

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