More bad news: Another W.Va. miner killed

April 23, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

Breaking news just in from Jama Jarrett, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training:

A 28-year-old coal miner has died from injuries received in an accident Thursday night at International Coal Group’s Beckley Pocahontas Mine in Raleigh County.

The miner became pinned between a continuous mining machine and the mine wall, Jarrett said. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died this morning during surgery, Jarrett said.

UPDATED: The miner’s name was John King.

The name of the miner has not yet been released, pending notification of all family members.

Updated, with this statement from ICG:

An employee of the ICG Beckley mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia, received serious injuries last night at approximately 11 p.m. while operating a continuous miner machine. The accident occurred when the employee got caught between the continuous miner and the coal rib. He was rushed to Raleigh General Hospital and then air lifted to CAMC in Charleston. Sadly, after undergoing surgery, he died today from his injuries. The company notified the appropriate regulatory authorities immediately upon occurrence of the accident. Federal, state and company officials are at the scene of the accident and will conduct a full investigation. Out of respect for the fallen miner and his family, the mine has been idled for the day.

7 Responses to “More bad news: Another W.Va. miner killed”

  1. West Virginian says:

    Same Coal Company that owned SAGO where miners died???

  2. Tom Rodd says:

    Here’s a link to a web article about the Sago Mine/International Coal Group and the guy who I think is its current owner, billionaire financier and socialite Wilbur Ross:

    And here’s a link to pictures of Wilbur’s latest Christmas party (I’m just guessing, but I doubt that West Virginia miners were invited to the boss’s shindig):

    A reminder of who really profits from the coal West Virginia produces.

  3. Bob Kincaid says:

    Same company, West Virginian.

    It’s the reverse of a few years ago. First came ICG’s non-union Sago disaster and then two men died at Massey’s non-union Aracoma. Now we have Massey’s non-union Upper Big Branch horror, followed by ICG’s own non-union death.

    B-T-W: if I understand correctly, MSHA only declares mining deaths a “disaster” if more than five miners die. As such, the poor soul who lost his life in ICG’s hole was a not a “disaster;” merely a life-shattering tragedy to those whom he loved and who loved him.

    These stories highlight the life-or-death necessity of passing the Employee Free Choice Act. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas (D-WalMart) has said that passing the EFCA in “difficult economic times” wouldn’t be wise. But for her and folks like Lieberman and Ben Nelson, the EFCA might’ve been law by now. Who can say but that such a law might’ve actually saved lives otherwise lost.

    I have a profound moral objection to putting dollars ahead of daddies.

  4. Thomas Rodd says:

    Here are the lyrics to the song “SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER” by Peggy Seeger, Pete’s sister. “Blood and bone is the price of coal.”

    In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
    Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine
    There’s blood on the coal and the miners lie
    In the roads that never saw sun nor sky. (x2)

    In the town of Springhill, you don’t sleep easy
    Often the earth will tremble and roar
    When the earth is restless, miners die
    Bone and blood is the price of coal. (x2)

    In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
    Late in the year of fifty-eight
    Day still comes and the sun still shines
    (But it’s) Dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine. (x2)

    Down at the coal face, miners working
    Rattle of the belt and the cutter’s blade
    Rumble of the rock and the walls closed round
    (The) Living and the dead men two miles down. (x2)

    Twelve men lay two miles from the pitshaft
    Twelve men lay in the dark and sang
    Long hot days in the miners tomb
    (It was) Three feet high and a hundred long. (x2)

    Three days past and the lamps gave out
    And Caleb Rushton got up and and said
    There’s no more water, or light, or bread
    (So we’ll) Live on song and hope instead. (x2)

    Listen for the shouts of the barefaced miners
    Listen thru the rubble for a rescue team
    Six hundred feet of coal and slag
    Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam. (x2)

    Eight days passes and some were rescued
    Leaving the dead to lie alone
    Thru all their lives they dug their grave
    Two miles of earth for a marking stone. (x2

  5. Vnxq809 says:

    In my humble opinion – the EFCA is the most horrendous piece of legislation ever condsidered. Riddle me this Bob Kincaid: Let’s say a union-free shop has a card signing effort and achieves the majority needed to not pass go, not collect two hundred dollars – WHAM!…Automatically go to contract negotiations and be a union shop. Now, if I read this correctly the union will know who signed cards, more importantly who didn’t. Did it ever cross your mind that the union could then discriminate @ non-supporters. (not that the unions would ever do that…geesh)….This country was founded on a secret ballot and we certainly don’t need this horrible bill to be made law. Not to mention that it is my understanding of the bill that it eliminates the owner’s right for captive meetings w/ employees. Another preposterous notion.


  6. Roy Silver says:

    Dear Vnxq809,

    The current law unions know who signs the card. The phrase “captive meeting” is an interesting one. Who are the “captives?”

  7. Ken Ward Jr. says:

    Ok fellas … let’s not go too far down the road on the Employee Free Choice Act discussion … union miners die on the job too, and regardless of their affiliation, miners have the right to not have to die on the job. It’s MSHA’s job to make that happen.

    Also, an interesting point, Bob, on the definition of “disaster.” At some point — and I don’t recall the years — MSHA defined disaster as 3 or more miners killed … it was then changed to 5. I’ll see if I can find a reference on that. Ken.