According to a preliminary fatality report, general inside labourer Adam Lanham was working at Wolf Run Mining's Sentinel mine in Barbour County about 2.30pm local time on Friday when he was struck by a Fairchild 35C-WH battery-operated scoop.
He had been asked to assist two other miners in making haulroad repairs in the No. 5 entry of the North West Mains No. 1 area of the mine, MSHA said Monday, adding that the unidentified scoop operator had just replaced the unit's batteries and had a load of gravel.
“The victim was travelling on foot from the No. 25 block in the outby direction towards the No. 12 block where additional repairs were going to be made to the haulroad," said the report, which also outlined that the scoop and a diesel grader were following behind Lanham.
“While en route, the scoop operator inadvertently struck the victim at the No. 13 block."
The worker had been a miner for just five weeks at the time of the accident.
ICG spokesperson Ira Gamm confirmed for ILN that an investigation by the company had commenced and that Lanham was a contract employee for the Sentinel mine.
MSHA said the man's employer was Mine Temp LLC of Morgantown.
The underground bituminous complex employs 196 workers.
According to federal statistics, the mine had no previous contractor fatal injuries since 1995, but its operator non-fatal days lost (NFDL) rate for 2007 was 5.83 and it has four contractor injuries that counted towards that total.
Sentinel's NFDL rate through the first quarter of the agency's year in 2008 was 11.86.