Coal Tattoo

Another W.Va. miner dies on the job

Right on the heels of a death earlier this week at a Drummond Mining Co. operation in Alabama, we reported this news last evening in the Gazette:

A miner was killed Thursday afternoon in a rock fall at a Consol Energy operation in Monongalia County, state officials confirmed.

The incident occurred at Consol’s Blacksville No. 2 Mine, which is permitted in West Virginia but includes mining of some coal reserves in Pennsylvania, said C.A. Phillips, director of the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

This statement issued this morning by the state office provided a few more details:

A fatal accident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2012 when a worker was struck by falling roof rock. The worker was attempting to raise the trolley wire at an outby location when a large piece of rock fell, pinning the victim against the mine rib and floor. This accident occurred at the Consolidation Coal Co., Blacksville # 2 mine in Monongalia County. The accident investigation is ongoing.

CONSOL Energy identified the miner who died as 61-year-old William Edward Mock.

As we also reported last evening:

Blacksville No. 2 is a large underground mine that employs 545 workers and last year produced about 4.3 million tons of coal, according to MSHA records. The United Mine Workers union represents hourly workers at the mine.

In each of the last two years, Blacksville No. 2 recorded injury rates that were slightly worse than the national average, according to MSHA data. In April, the operation was targeted by an MSHA “impact inspection” that produced 20 citations, nearly half of which were listed as serious violations, according to MSHA.

During a quarterly inspection that started July 2 and is ongoing, MSHA officials cited the operation for 10 alleged roof-control violations, including eight that agency inspectors considered serious.


Thursday’s death is the fifth coal-mining fatality in West Virginia in 2012, according to counts by both state and federal agencies.

This week’s deaths push the total number of U.S. coal miners killed on the job in 2012 to 15, which is ahead of last year’s pace of 13 miners killed through mid-September.