Thursday, January 04, 2001

Ky. tops mine deaths


13 fatalities are one-third of national total

By Roger Alford
The Associated Press

        PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky led the nation for the third straight year in the number of coal-mining fatalities in 2000.

        A report by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration found that Kentucky accounted for about one-third of the 38 coal miners killed in the United States.

        Kathy Snyder, spokeswoman for the agency, said 13 miners were killed at Kentucky mines; nine in West Virginia; four each in Virginia and Utah; two each in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wyoming; and one each in Colorado and Indiana.

        Kentucky hasn't had more fatalities since 1993, when 18 miners were killed on the job.

        Six of the Kentucky fatalities were at surface mines. Six were underground. One was at a coal preparation plant.

        “Some of these obviously could have been prevented,” said Holly McCoy, spokes woman for the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals. “Some were pure accidents that could not have been foreseen.”

        Ms. McCoy said the number of mining deaths in Kentucky and nationally have been greatly reduced from decades past with more stringent safety procedures and closer oversight by regulatory agencies.

        The number of fatalities nationally fell each year from 1990 through 1998, when they reached an all-time low of 29. In 1999, 35 miners died on the job.

       



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