Two more W.Va. miners die on the job

May 13, 2014 by Ken Ward Jr.

Mine Explosion

The sad news broke late last night and early this morning, out of Boone County, W.Va.:

Two miners were killed last night at a Patriot Coal operation in Boone County where federal officials said last year they would increase enforcement because of a pattern of serious violations and unreported worker injuries.

Federal and state officials this morning confirmed the deaths occurred at Patriot’s Brody Mine No. 1 in the Wharton area.

Killed were Eric D. Legg, 48, of Twilight, and Gary P. Hensley, 46, of Chapmanville, said Amy Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

No other workers were unaccounted for this morning and no other injuries were reported, said Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

A statement from MSHA referred to the incident as a “ground failure,” while the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training’s initial report called it a “coal outburst.” Both descriptions suggest the incident was not simply a roof fall, but involved pressures from above ejecting rock and coal material from the mine walls onto the workers.

4 Responses to “Two more W.Va. miners die on the job”

  1. May God give rest to the souls of Eric D. Legg and Gary P. Hensley and comfort to their families and friends.

    Father Rodney Torbic

  2. the curious says:

    RIP Messrs. Legg and Hensley.

    Regarding Mr. Oppegard’s quote, what do we know about Brody’s roof control plan? Were mobile roof supports (MRS) employed?

    The Crandall canyon mine was also conducting retreat mining (adjacent to a longwall gob, if I recall) when serious bumps and tragedies occurred.

  3. Ken Ward Jr. says:

    the curious —

    we don’t yet have a copy of the roof control plan for this plan. waiting for it to be released.


  4. the curious says:

    Thank you Ken,
    Recalling from memory (sorry no link) a damning fact from the Crandall canyon mine was that a bump occurred along one barrier pillar, which led the operator to work the adjacent without informing MSHA or revisiting the roof control plan.

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