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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  • by Carolyn Location: Cincinnati on Aug 15, 2009 at 12:47 AM
    My heart and prayers go out to the Stillwater Family. Minning is a dangerous job. I know because my great-grandfather, grandfather and father worked in the mines for many years. And I agree, that those who care should send prayers and hope for his family and not make assumptions.
  • by phil cat Location: west liberty on Sep 24, 2008 at 11:50 AM
    still water was a good man he was always talking about his boys very proud of his family. may god be with you all in this time of loss.
  • by geneva wiley Location: paintsville ky on Sep 21, 2008 at 09:17 PM
    super america speedway on 513s mayo tr it is call 321 on day thier gas is down and the next it is up like one day it 356 a gal and the next day it is 399 a gal that is to high to buy in paintsville ky
  • by coal_miners_wife Location: hazard, ky on Sep 21, 2008 at 07:26 AM
    I am very sorry for the family. My husband works day shift on this job and has only nice things to say about Stillwater. This was a terrible accident which has affected many people. My wish is for God to comfort the family and for people to keep their speculation to themselves as to how this accident happened. This family and the men on this job will never be the same. How do you feel as is you are helping by bringing up unions and how it may have happened? A mans life was lost, period. Let the officials take care of figuring out what happened. I am sure this family would appreciate it very much if you would pray for them and send your kind words instead of this nonsense. To the family, I am praying for you and hope you can find some relief. May God comfort you.
  • by Friend Location: West Liberty on Sep 20, 2008 at 09:16 PM
    I remember seeing/hearing him on TV when the miners had their rally in Frankfort. What was that about?
  • by Melissa Location: Pike Co on Sep 20, 2008 at 06:51 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. So sorry for your loss.
  • by Family Friend Location: West Liberty on Sep 20, 2008 at 08:44 AM
    Harold, "Stillwater", was proud of his sons and was a giving friend to many. He is missed.
  • by camptongirl Location: campton on Sep 20, 2008 at 07:02 AM
    Sorry Andrew Patrick and Steven you all are good kids and I'm sure your dad was a good man you are in everyone's parayers
  • by debbie Location: auxier ky on Sep 20, 2008 at 05:23 AM
    I am so very sorry, may God bless and comfort those left behind, my heart and prayers are with you!
  • by anonymous on Sep 20 ,2008 Location: eastern kentucky on Sep 20, 2008 at 04:53 AM
    i fill for the families, just how dangerous is coal mining in kentucky, i was talking to a coal miner in floyd county kentucky two days ago. he told me that state inspectors had found marjuiana & other smoking articles underground. come on people we got to do better than this to cut the accidents & deaths down
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