Coal Tattoo

Another W.Va. miner dies on the job

Over the weekend, West Virginia recorded its first coal-mining death of 2012 — with a rib roll at an Alpha Natural Resources operation in Fayette County. All the talk from our state’s political leaders about passage of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s mine safety bill didn’t do much to prevent the death of another West Virginia miner.

Here’s the information released so far by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration:

… A foreman in his early 30s was killed when a rib rolled, while he was running a continuous mining machine.  MSHA district personnel responded and an investigation is underway. The mine is under closure from a 103k Order. No one underground.

The state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training later identified the worker who died as section foreman Jeremy Sigler. The incident occurred at Alpha’s Kingston Mining subsidiary’s Kingston No. 2 Mine.

Some reader may recall the death in December October 2010 of 59-year-old miner William R. Dooley in a roof fall at this same Alpha mine Kingston’s No. 1 MineThe Kingston operations which is are not among those the company acquired in the Massey buyout. Federal regulators blamed Dooley’s death on mine management’s failure to adequately monitor and and control adverse roof conditions in the mine.

UPDATED: Here’s a statement just issued by Alpha Natural Resources —

A coal miner suffered fatal injuries Saturday evening involving a rib roll at the Kingston #2 underground mine in Fayette County, W. Va.

Jeremy Sigler, 34, of Pool, W. Va., was struck by material from the mine’s side wall during the evening shift March 10. Other members of the section crew administered CPR before transporting him outside. Mr. Sigler was taken by ambulance to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W. Va., where he was later pronounced dead.

The Kingston #2 mine is operated by Kingston Mining, Inc., a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR) of Bristol, Va. Operations are idled under a closure order while Federal and state officials continue their investigation of the accident with the support of mine personnel. Kingston Mining is fully cooperating with the investigation.

“In this sad time our prayers and heartfelt condolences go to Mr. Sigler’s family,” said Charlie Bearse, president of Kingston Mining. “While the mine is idled we will work closely with the outside investigators to determine how and why the accident occurred. We are administering to his family’s needs and providing counseling to his fellow miners at this time to help them deal with the loss of their coworker.”

Mr. Sigler had approximately 10 years of underground mining experience and had been employed by Kingston Mining since 2004.