WV Sees High Numbers In 2013 Mining Deaths Report

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Federal regulators say mining deaths during the first quarter of this year totaled 11, with West Virginia claiming nearly half of those fatalities.

The report issued Wednesday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration showed that eight fatalities occurred in coal mines, with the remainder reported in metal and nonmetal mines.

Six coal miners died in less than one month, with four of those in West Virginia. That prompted a safety alert and an enhanced presence in the state by regulatory officials.

West Virginia coal mine deaths have totaled five in 2013, with the latest occurring in March.

Prior to that death, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin urged a statewide time-out for safety talks.

The mining deaths have involved machinery, roof falls and explosions.