Tomblin Calls For Safety Stand-Down At W.Va. Mines

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West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking coal companies to halt production for an hour to review safety procedures following the state's fourth coal mining fatality in two weeks.

Tomblin on Wednesday signed an executive order urging mine operators to hold safety talks with employees over the next 24 hours.

The move comes after 44-year-old John Myles of Hilltop was struck by a scoop Tuesday night and died of his injuries. The death at Pocahontas Coal Co.'s Affinity mine near Sophia was its second this month.

Federal records show that mine has been cited for safety violations 65 times since January.

The company says it's concerned, but the two deaths appear unrelated. State and federal investigations are under way.

Six miners have died in the past two-and-a-half months.