News agency Associated Press reported that Adam Perdue, 29, and another unnamed miner were working on the machine at Alex Energy’s No. 1 highwall operation in Nicholas County when the incident occurred.
The accident took place just after midnight local time.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Perdue, a mechanic who was trapped between the cutting head and a protective shield on the highwall unit, was still listed in critical condition at a local medical facility.
The state’s Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training told the news service the worker had suffered severe head and facial injuries in what was described as a “serious, potentially fatal accident”.
The second worker’s injuries are believed to be not as serious.
Investigations by officials have commenced.
Alex Energy is a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Massey did not return a request for comment and details from ILN by press time.