Limited Experience Noted Among Coal Miners who Died

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BEAVER, W.Va. (AP) – Federal officials say seven U.S. coal miners have died in accidents so far this year, compared with eight deaths all last year, most involving miners with less than one year of experience at that particular mine and that particular job.

Tim Watkins, deputy administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, says they’re launching an initiative, needing the help of operators, to talk to miners and try to determine if there are training deficiencies.

At a stakeholder meeting Thursday in southern West Virginia, he says the deaths occurred at both surface and underground mines, where six of the seven miners had worked for less than one year.

Five miners had less than one year experience in the particular job.

Four deaths were in West Virginia, two in Kentucky, one in Montana.