Miner Is Killed At Shoemaker Mine
BENWOOD – Charles McIntire, a 62-year-old employee of Consol Energy’s Shoemaker Mine, died around 8 p.m. Monday following an accident at the Ohio River portal of the underground mine.
According to U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere, McIntire was injured when he dismounted the piece of equipment he was operating as a trench digger and connected it to a power source. It seems the machine struck him when it re-energized, amputating his leg.
The area of the mine where the accident occurred is called the “jump” – a 50-foot break in the trolley wire, where regular vehicles can cross the mine track.
Louviere said McIntire tried to use a jumper cable to move the loading machine he was operating. The machine had failed to coast through a gap in the trolley wire.
An eyewitness said when McIntire connected his equipment to the power source, the machine suddenly moved forward, running over McIntire.
An investigator responded Monday night and secured the scene, Louviere said. The mine was temporarily idled, and the investigation of the accident is ongoing.
According to Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Hart, initial reports indicated a worker in the shop area at the River Portal had suffered a leg injury about 8 p.m.
Emergency calls from the site were placed directly to STAT Medevac and Tri-State EMS, not to the county 911 center, he said.
But when a medical helicopter arrived, firefighters were needed to set up a landing zone, and the ambulance service also called for additional aid.
“A direct call to 911 simplifies everything,” Hart said. “By dialing 911, all those resources are managed from a single point of contact.”
Hart said the EMA will hold an “after-action” meeting with Consol to make sure all emergency procedures were followed properly. He couldn’t say, however, that a call to the 911 center would have resulted in a different outcome.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” he said.
Consol spokeswoman Lynn Seay said McIntire was approaching his 10th year as a company employee. She stressed Consol’s “thoughts and prayers remain with Mr. McIntire’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
“We are continuing to work closely with state and federal mine safety officials to determine the incident’s cause and to review our safety and emergency procedures,” Seay said, noting operations at Shoemaker would resume by midnight Tuesday.
Monday’s death is the third at an Ohio Valley coal mine this year and the second at Consol mines in Marshall County.
In February, a bulldozer driver was pinned between his vehicle and a water truck at the McElroy Mine.
In August, a mine mechanic at American Energy Corp.’s Century Mine near Beallsville died when the base lift jack cylinder on an underground roof support failed, striking him in the chest and killing him instantly.
McIntire’s death is the 17th at a United States coal mine in 2011, according to MSHA, though one of those deaths later was ruled a result of natural causes. Of those 17, seven occurred in West Virginia.