Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine

THE US has recorded the latest in an already alarming rash of coal fatalities with its fifth coal-related death of 2013 – a 51-year-old laborer at the Loveridge longwall mine in northern West Virginia.
Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine Miner killed at Consol's Loveridge mine

 

Donna Schmidt

Consol Energy spokeswoman Lynn Seay told ILN that Glen Clutter was initially injured at about 9.40am on February 12 when an incident occurred while a crew was moving longwall parts with four shield carriers.

“They came upon a bad portion of track and all four shield carriers derailed,” US Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere added.

The workers, who were in the process of putting one of the shield carriers back on the track, had placed an air bag under two of the carriers but the bag didn’t raise the carriers high enough.

“The victim used a slate bar to try to move the flange off the wheel over the top of the rail,” Louviere said.

“The load shifted/popped back, causing the bar to fly back and hit the victim on the head.”

Clutter died from his injuries at about 3.30pm on Thursday, two days after the event.

MSHA District 3 is investigating.

Seay said Clutter, who was a resident of Baxter in West Virginia, began his mining career in 1981 at the Blacksville No 1 mine and had worked at the Loveridge mine for the past 10 years.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Mr Clutter's family and loved ones during this difficult time,” she said.

“Consol Energy continues to work closely with state and federal mine safety officials to determine the cause of the incident.

“Safety remains at the core of everything we do at Consol Energy.

“It is our priority to prevent events like this one from ever happening and we continue to strive for a workplace experience of zero accidents.”

The Loveridge operation, under Consol protocol, temporarily ceased operations following the event.

Production resumed at 4pm on Friday.

Clutter was the third West Virginia coal miner to die on the job in just one week and the third miner in four months to be killed at a Consol Energy mine – one of the nation’s safest operators.

He also died less than 24 hours after Illinois miner Timothy Chamness, 28, a continuous miner operator at Knight Hawk Coal’s Prairie Eagle South operation in Cutler, Perry County.

Chamness was pinned between the tail of the CM and the coal rib while mining at the face area of the mine’s No 1 entry of the 3rd North section.

The Loveridge mine, which employs about 600 workers, produced 5.9 million tons in 2012.

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