2008 Mining Deaths Fell To The Lowest Number On Record

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The number of miners killed on the job in
the United States fell in 2008 to the lowest level on record: 51.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration reported that 29
of the deaths happened in coal mines, down from 34 in 2007, while
22 were in copper, gold, stone and other types of mines, down from
33 in 2007.

The 51 deaths are the lowest number since the federal government
began keeping records in 1910. The previous low was 55 in 2004.

Federal mine safety chief Richard Stickler told The Associated
Press on Thursday that revamped safety laws and beefed up
enforcement were among factors that led to the overall decline in
mining deaths.

But Stickler said he is by no means pleased. He said 51
fatalities are 51 tragedies that are unacceptable and
disheartening.


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