Coal Tattoo

Another coal miner dies on the job

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Bad news coming in tonight from Kentucky, where a Harlan County worker has become the 38th U.S. coal miner to die on the job this year.

Here’s what we know, from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration:

The death occurred this afternoon at Lone Mountain Processing Inc.’s Clover Fork No. 1 Mine near Holmes Mill.   Shortly before 4 p.m., a mine wall dislodged a jack, which hit the victim in the head. The name of the miner has not yet been released.

At the time of the accident, the section was performing “retreat mining,” a very dangerous activity in which the last bits of coal — those left during previous mining to hold up the roof — are removed.

Lone Mountain Processing is part of Arch Coal Inc.

Lone Mountain’s operations were cited following 1 death in 2006, three deaths in separate accidents in 2002 (see here, here and here) and another in 1998, according to MSHA records available online.