West Virginia Coal Mine Workers Killed After Structural Failure

A West Virginia Coal mine accident has left two workers dead. There have been multiple conflicting reports as to what caused the accident, though reports seem to agree that there were structural failures within the mine. The mine has been identified as Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County, 50 miles south of Charleston.

Multiple reports have stated that the accident was caused by a “coal outburst” which may have been the result of stress on the mine’s structure. According to descriptions from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coal bursts or coal outbursts are “violent failures of ribs, roofs or floors in underground mines.”

According to ABC News, the outburst resulted in a ground failure around 8:45 PM Monday. The US Geological Survey defines a ground failure as a general reference to landslides, liquefaction, lateral spreads, and “any other consequence of shaking that affects the stability of the ground.” Federal and state officials have said Tuesday that the West Virginia mine has a history of safety violations.

Fox News reported that emergency crews were called to the West Virginia mine around 10:30 PM Monday and as rescue and news crews arrived, family members who had begun gathering outside the mine reportedly said that they had heard that part of the mine had collapsed. WOWK-TV reportedly stated that the West Virginia mine “had received 253 ‘significant and substantial‘ violations from the U.S. government’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during a 12-month review which ended last August.”

The ground failure reportedly trapped two worker whose bodies have since been recovered by rescue crews members. According to NBC News, the two deceased miners have been identified as 48-year-old Eric Legg and 46-year-old Gary Hensley. According to a Facebook update by WBOY 12News, Patriot Coal, the owner of the Brody Mine No. 1 released a statement confirming the accident Monday:

“Patriot Coal confirmed that an accident at the Brody underground mine late yesterday has claimed the lives of two miners. Eric Legg, 48, and Gary Hensley, 46, both employees of Patriot’s Brody Mining subsidiary, were fatally injured in a severe coal burst as the mine was conducting retreat mining operations. Brody is part of the Wells Mining Complex located in Boone County near Wharton, West Virginia. We express our deepest sympathies to Eric’s and Gary’s families, friends and co-workers,” said Mike Day, Patriot Executive Vice President – Operations. “We are fully cooperating with state and federal mine regulatory agencies to investigate this incident.”

Stay with The Inquisitr as more information becomes available on the West Virginia mine accident.

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