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2 dead in West Virginia coal mine accident

 

Officials from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration say two workers were trapped and killed in an accident at a West Virginia coal mine.

Amy Louviere of the agency told The Associated Press in an email Tuesday morning that a ground failure occurred at the mine around 8:30 p.m. Monday. She says the miners' bodies have been recovered, and personnel from the agency are on the site.

Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County is owned by St. Louis-based Patriot Coal. Officials told Fox News that the failure occurred after a coal outburst, which is considered a sudden outburst of coal and gas.

There were no other workers unaccounted for. The state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training identifies the workers as 48-year-old Eric D. Legg of Twilight and 46-year-old Gary P. Hensley Chapmanville.

Patriot Coal said in a statement the incident was "a severe coal burst as the mine was conducting retreat mining operations."

WOWK-TV reported that emergency crews were called to the mine at approximately 10:30 p.m. Monday. Families who had gathered outside the mine told the station that they had heard that part of the mine had collapsed.

The station reported that the mine had received 253 "significant and substantial" violations from the U.S. government's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during a 12-month review which ended last August.

The MSHA report says the violations show the mine had a disregard for the health and safety of its miners at the time the violations were issued. Federal officials said they would increase enforcement at the mine over the violations, The West Virginia Gazette reported. 

The paper reported that it was the first miner death in the state since January. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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