Two more WV miner deaths

TWO workers were fatally injured in two separate incidents Friday in West Virginia mines, lifting the number of fatalities in the state to 18 this year.

Donna Schmidt

Robert Runyon, 48, of Kentucky was killed at Jacob Mining’s No. 1 mine in Mingo County when a section of roof fell onto a locomotive, according to an Associated Press interview with Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere.

State Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training spokeswoman Caryn Greshem said the worker was a contractor at the mine, employed through Southern West Virginia Resources.

The second death, for which the worker’s identity has not yet been disclosed, occurred at Mystic’s Candice No. 2 operation in Boone County in the vicinity of a continuous miner, the news service said. Louviere said in an earlier interview that the miner became caught on the conveyor and was pulled in.

Runyon’s accident occurred at about 3.15pm local time Friday, while the worker at Candice lost his life slightly earlier, near noon, according to various media reports.

Federal and state investigations have already commenced and Gresham said the state’s governor, Joe Manchin, was in contact with the dead miners’ loved ones.

“Governor Manchin is making an effort to call the families and let them know his prayers and thoughts are with them and also let them know the state is doing what it can to improve safety in the mines,” she told AP.

The latest deaths bring this year’s US mining fatality toll to 23.