Saturday, February 1, 2003

Man fatally injured in Pike Co. mine accident

The Associated Press

PIKEVILLE - A Letcher County man died after being struck by a metal coupling of a water hose in a Pike County mine, authorities said.

David Lee Wright, 28, of Jenkins, was operating a scoop in AEP Kentucky Coal's No. 10 mine Thursday evening, Cathy Prothro, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Mines and Minerals, said Friday.

Prothro said Wright was engaged in retreat mining, or exiting a section that had already been mined, in the 36-inch high coal seam when the scoop snagged the water hose. The hose snapped, and the coupling hit Wright in the head.

"It was like breaking a guitar string," Prothro said. "We believe that when it broke apart it hit him, although it's still under investigation. It appears that Mr. Wright died from blunt force trauma to the head."

Wright's death was the state's first mine fatality of 2003.

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