Coal Miner Dies in Accident

Friday, August 9, 2013 @ 05:08 PM gHale


One miner died and two others suffered injuries Tuesday in an underground coal mine in Harlan County, KY.

Lenny D. Gilliam, 56, of Appalachia, VA, died after he ended up trapped in the Huff Creek Mine, near Holmes Mill on Black Mountain, according to a release from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

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The accident occurred at noon. Brown said Gilliam was the last to come out of the mine, about 2:30 p.m.

Miners Terry Scott and Johnny Nantz suffered injuries that did not appear life-threatening, said Dick Brown, spokesman for the Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The miners ended up trapped during “retreat mining operations,” the news release said.

“Preliminary reports indicate the side of a coal pillar burst as the continuous-miner machine was operating, causing the miners to be trapped,” the news release said.

Lone Mountain Processing, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Arch Coal, is the mine operator. Lone Mountain operates three underground mines in Harlan County.

The Huff Creek mine face three citations in July and once in May for roof control plan violations, according to data from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The death occurred a day after federal officials cited a drop in the number of underground mining fatalities attributed to roof and wall collapses.

Gilliam is the second miner to die on the job in Kentucky in 2013.



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