Alpha miner dies in Boone County (West Virginia)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A coal miner died Thursday when he fell three stories at an Alpha Natural Resources preparation plant in Boone County, state and federal officials said.

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training identified the miner as Clyde W. Dolin, 57, of Danville.

Dolin was killed at about noon when he fell near an elevator at Alpha subsidiary Independence Coal’s Liberty Preparation facility, south of Uneeda along Robinson Creek. Dolin, a mechanic, had 37 years of mining experience, including 13 at the Liberty facility.

The incident is the eighth coal-mining death in the United States this year, and the second in West Virginia. The other state death also occurred at an Alpha operation, the Kingston No. 2 Mine in Fayette County.

Earlier Thursday, Alpha held its annual stockholders meeting in Abingdon, Va., electing officers and board members, and approving executive pay and incentive plans. On Wednesday, Alpha had issued its first-ever corporate “sustainability report,” touting its “Running Right” safety program and its environmental performance.

The Liberty plant is among the operations that Alpha acquired when it bought Massey Energy Co. in June 2011.

Last year, the facility’s accident rate improved from being twice as high as the national average to slightly below the national average, according to data from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

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