Continuous miner operator James Erwin, 55, was working at Massey’s Ruby Energy mine May 10 when he was struck by a shuttle car.
“While the shuttle car was leaving the No. 7 entry on the MMU 008-0 after the last car in the place was loaded, the victim was caught between the shuttle car and the coal rib,” a US Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesperson told ILN.
After being transported to the surface of the mine, which is operated by Massey subsidiary Spartan Mining, Erwin was air-lifted to a nearby medical center and admitted. However, he succumbed to his injuries at 6am local time May 21.
The miner was a 35-year industry veteran and had worked at Ruby Energy for seven years.
The fatality is the 36th in coal mining in 2010, and the 31st in West Virginia this year. Of the state’s total, 29 were marked at the explosion of Massey sister mine Upper Big Branch in April.
Ruby Energy, a bituminous underground mine in Mingo County, is staffed by 84 total workers. Federal officials confirmed that 32 workers were underground at the time of the incident.
According to MSHA records, the mine reported an overall non-fatal days lost operator injuries rate for 2009 of 4.04 based on 206,504 man hours worked and production of just over 459,000 tons.
The last fatal operator injury recorded at Ruby Energy was in 2004.