Peabody Energy Worker Killed At Illinois Mine Cited For Violations

SALINE COUNTY — A Southern Illinois coal mine was shut down Friday afternoon after the death of a miner.

That accident happened around 1 p.m. at Peabody Energy’s Willow Lake Mine northwest of Equality near the Saline/Gallatin County line.

Peabody officials say a twenty-ton piece of equipment rolled over the worker.

The victim’s name has not been released, but a source tells News Three he’s a 58 year old man from Cadiz, Kentucky who was planning to retire in just a couple of weeks.

The accident happened 500 feet below ground and three miles into the mine when a battery hauler, a piece of equipment that loads coal onto a conveyer belt, struck and killed the victim.

The Willow Lake mine has been fined more than $200,000 by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which accuses the company of putting workers lives in danger.

Peabody Energy has appealed those fines calling them inflammatory and unfounded, although Friday the company’s spokesman admitted that enough hasn’t been done.

The statement from Vic Svec reads in part:
“Willow Lake mine has had a high rate of citations in fact it’s been among the higher within Peabody’s operations and that to us has been unacceptable, so we have been working hard to improve not just the citations but more importantly the real safety at the mine, again with some success in recent months. But obviously that’s wholly inadequate on day when a fatality has occurred and it’s a clear sign that what has been done is insufficient.”

The mine was shut down immediately after the accident, so that the company, along local, state and federal officials investigate.


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