Two workers dead in West Virginia coal mine accident

West Virginia mine accident kills two

Two workers died after they were trapped in a West Virginia coal mine as the ground failed, state officials said Tuesday. 

All other workers at Brody Mine No. 1 have been accounted for, Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere told the Los Angeles Times.   

"Rescue efforts later determined that the miners did not survive," she said in an email, adding that federal  personnel were on site to conduct an investigation into the Monday night accident. 

The two dead miners were identified as Eric Legg, 48, and Gary Hensley, 46, according to Patriot Coal, which owns the mine and is described on its website as the largest producer of thermal coal in the United States.

In a statement the company blamed their deaths on what it described as a "severe coal burst," but did not offer further explanation. Patriot Coal did not immediately respond to phone calls. 

The mine, which had been acquired by Patriot Coal at the end of 2012, has a long history of safety infractions and unreported worker injuries, including four violations in the first few days of this month alone, according to a database operated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It had also received more than 250 "significant and substantial violations" according to a 2013 MSHA review.



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