UPDATED 3:45 P.M. Wednesday
My sincere apologies to Robert Ellis and the folks at Newtown Energy for again getting part of this story wrong.
Let’s try to get it clear this time — The $100,000 fine mentioned below and in today’s print story concerned not reporting a problem with the mine’s elevator entry system — not a problem with the slope hoist system where yesterday’s fatal accident occurred.
My apologies also to Coal Tattoo readers for this error. Hopefully, I got it right this time.
UPDATED: 11 a.m. Wednesday
We had a story in our print edition today about this mining death. It’s available here.
I also wanted to update this a bit, with some additional information provided by Robert Ellis, the president of Newtown Mining. In particular, this mine has two entrances — one is the slope hoist in the Kanawha County side and the other is an elevator on the Boone County side.
Yesterday’s accident occurred on the slope hoist system.
And Ellis pointed out to me that the $100,000 fine for not reporting within 15 minutes a problem with that system to regulators in 2008 involved the system being down for a little more than 12 hours — not several days as I had originally reported in today’s print story.
There aren’t many details yet available from authorities, but West Virginia suffered its third coal-mining death of the year this morning.
A miner — not yet identified — was killed in a hoist car accident at Newtown Energy’s Eagle Mine in Kanawha County
Boone County, according to Jama Jarrett, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. A second miner was also injured, but there was no immediate word on his condition. Two other miners were also injured, one with minor shoulder and facial injuries and the other with minor head injuries, Jarrett said.
This is the 14th coal-mining death nationwide so far in 2009. It is the first since former United Mine Workers safety director Joe Main was confirmed last week as President Obama’s assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
Taking a quick look, the Eagle Mine is an underground operation that listed more than 200 workers and about 600,000 tons of production through the first three quarters of 2009, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Since opening in 2000, the Eagle Mine has consistently recorded an injury rate far worse than the national average — as much as three times higher — according to MSHA’s data. Last year, the operation was among those warned by MSHA to clean up its act or face tougher enforcement action for a “pattern of violations.”
Diana Peterson, a spokeswoman for MSHA, provided this update:
At approximately 7:00 am this morning, a hoist rope on a slope car broke at the Newtown Energy Inc, Eagle Mine. One miner, age 53, located at the slope bottom, was struck by the hoist car, causing fatal injuries. Two other miners riding in the slope car when the hoist rope broke were also injured. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening. The slope car was being hoisted out of the mine at the time of the accident.