Coal mine workers in Charleston are likely aware of the dangers they are exposed to while at work. There are multiple hazards to be faced, and if the management and supervisors of a mine fail to ensure that all safety regulations are abided by, severe injuries and even fatalities may be suffered. The sad fact that most coal mine accidents could have been prevented remains a concern of many.
On May 9, workers reportedly narrowly escaped death or severe injuries when a collapse — known as a coal burst — occurred at the Brody Mine No. 1. Because no workers were injured, the incident was not reported to the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. In fact, it only came to light during an investigation into a subsequent accident that caused the death of two mine workers on May 12. Although some concern was expressed by the official who inspected the site, it was determined that operations continued on the day following the first collapse.
It was reported that the two miners who lost their lives were performing retreat mining — a dangerous practice of retrieving coal by intentionally collapsing the roof. The collapse of the roof caused a section of the mine to fill with masses of coal, completely overwhelming the two workers. An official report stated that the mine had been labeled as pattern violators due to the number of safety violations they have committed over time.
State mining officials stated that the responsible mining company failed to properly support roofs and walls — measures that could typically prevent some types of coal mine accidents. The Charleston families who now have to face a future without their loved ones will likely face some financial instability after having to cope with funeral and burial expenses, along with the loss of income. They retain the right to pursue the recovery of damages, and may find it beneficial to consult with a professional who aims to protect the legal rights of injured mine workers or surviving families of those who lost their lives in workplace accidents.
Source: triblive.com, “State cites Patriot Coal in W.Va. mine accident“, , Sept. 29, 2014