Contractor killed at northeast Wyoming coal mine

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A contractor died Thursday in an accident at a coal mine in the Powder River Basin, a state inspector said.

It was at least the fourth workplace death in Wyoming in less than a week after an oilfield explosion killed three workers Monday.

The accident happened around midday at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, one of the largest surface mines in North America. It was the state’s first coal mine death since a truck accident at the Wyodak coal mine near Gillette in 2008.

“We’re just trying to get as much together as we can,” Wyoming State Mine Inspector Terry Adcock said. “Right now, the details are sketchy on what happened.”

The coal mine, owned by St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, shipped more than 100 million tons of coal last year.

The accident killed an employee of Weston Engineering, a water well drilling and hydrogeology consulting firm, Peabody spokeswoman Meg Gallagher said. An employee who answered the phone at Weston Engineering said she had no information about what happened.

Campbell County Coroner Tom Eekhoff identified the victim as 29-year-old Cody Alwin Brown, of Spearfish, S.D., The Gillette News Record reported.

Wyoming has one of the nation’s highest rates of fatal workplace accidents.


About this entry