Miner Dies In Perry County Accident

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

After two separate mining accidents within 24 hours in Eastern Kentucky, Mine Safety and Health Administration officials are looking for answers.

For the mining community, safety is a top priority.

"Obviously safety is very important, because we want everybody to go home everyday," said Ron Burns with the MSHA, Hazard Field Office.

55 year old Harold Graham of Campton died early Friday morning in a surface mining accident. He worked for ICG in Perry County and was a councilman in his hometown. Those in his community say he will be missed.

"He was an outstanding leader here in the community. He was very devoted to his job and the city of Campton," said Campton Mayor Gay Campbell.

ICG issued the following statement: "Preliminary indications are that the victim died when the dozer he was operating went over a highwall."

ICG officials say Graham was an experienced equipment operator who had worked for ICG Hazard and its affiliates for several years. The Mine Safety and Health Administration is also investigating a separate incident at the C & N Number One Mine in Pike County.

"He inadvertently removed the wrong cable plug under load, causing serious multiple flash burns," said Amy Louviere with MSHA.

Burns helps run mine training exercises. He says anytime miners lose a fellow worker, it affects all miners.

"It happened to a miner, it happened to a person that we care about," Burns said.

A feeling felt by everyone in the mining community.

Both accidents are still under investigation and MSHA officials say full reports will be issued once they are complete.

Graham is the 20th coal miner killed in the United States this year and the third in Kentucky.

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