Beckley miner killed at Arch Coal mine (USA)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Beckley man was killed Tuesday at an Arch Coal underground mine in Raleigh County, becoming the 13th miner nationwide and the fourth in West Virginia to die on the job in 2012.

Gregory A. Byers, 43, died from injuries he received in an accident at Arch subsidiary ICG Beckley’s Beckley Pocahontas Mine near Eccles, according to the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

Byers was struck by a battery-powdered coal scoop in an incident that occurred at about 12:45 p.m., according to Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Preliminary information from MSHA said Byers was near a scoop at an underground charging station, when a second scoop hit the first, causing it to slide into Byers.

Byers was first transported to a Beckley hospital and later taken to CAMC, where he died late Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The incident is the second fatal mining accident in West Virginia in less than a week.

Last Friday, Johnny Mack Bryant II, 35, of Lenore, was crushed to death when he became pinned between a mine wall and the boom of a continuing mining machine. That incident occurred at Coal River Mining LLC’s Fork Creek No. 10 Mine, near the intersection of Boone, Kanawha, and Lincoln counties south of Charleston.

The 13 coal miners to die on the job so far this year is ahead of last year’s pace of 10 mining fatalities at the end of July, according to MSHA’s official count.

Last year, the Beckley Pocahontas Mine produced about 1.1 million tons of coal with 268 workers. The mine is among the operations Arch Coal acquired with its purchase of International Coal Group last year.


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