BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky miner was killed
Friday in an underground rock fall, bringing this year's number of
mine fatalities in the state to 14.
Joe "Pete" Seay, 56, of London, was operating a roof bolter
when a 5-foot long slab of rock fell on him about 12:30 p.m. EDT at
the D&R Coal Inc. Mine No. 2, said Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the
Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.
Seay died instantly head trauma, said Knox County Deputy Coroner
The mine, established in June 2000, was a small operation with
about 15 employees.
Friday's fatality was the first reported at the mine, though the
operation had been cited 14 times since 2005 by state inspectors
for various safety violations, ranging from machinery maintenance
to roof cracks.
Federal inspectors cited the mine 30 times for similar
violations, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health
The mine's registered operators, Lloyd Cole and Larry Hubbard,
could not be reached for comment Friday. An employee at D&R Coal
hung up on calls from the Associated Press.
This year's 14 fatalities are nine more than happened in 2005,
according to Mine Safety and Licensing. It's the highest number of
Kentucky mining deaths since 1993, when the toll was 18.
The largest disaster this year occurred at the Kentucky Darby
Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, where five men were killed in an
underground explosion in May.
Seay's death will be counted as Kentucky's 15th by MSHA, which
lists all fatalities at mines, not just those of miners. The state
did not count the July 7 death of a construction worker at a
Hopkins County mine.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)