Massey miner dies of accident injuries

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Massey Energy coal miner died today from injuries suffered more than a week earlier in an accident at one of the company’s West Virginia mines, government regulators said.

James Erwin, 55, was injured May 10 when he was pinned between a piece of heavy equipment and a block of coal at Massey’s Ruby Energy underground mine in Mingo County. Mr. Erwin’s condition was improving after his left leg was amputated, but he developed an infection Thursday and died at about 6 a.m. today, state and federal regulators said.

Erwin’s death comes as Richmond, Va.-based Massey faces criminal and civil investigations into an explosion that killed 29 men April 5 at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The blast was the nation’s deadliest coal mining disaster in 40 years.

At least 31 people have died at West Virginia coal mines this year, and 36 nationwide. Regulators haven’t determined whether an unrelated death at a different West Virginia coal mine earlier this month will be classified as mining related.


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