WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Underground Rock Fall Kills Miner

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.

The 56-year-old miner, whose name was not immediately released, 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.

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 several times for various safety violations, ranging from machinery maintenance to roof cracks.

The 14 deaths are nine more than happened in 2005, according to the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing. 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.

The death at D&R Coal will be counted as Kentucky's 15th by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, 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.)


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