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An overridden emergency button claims a Charleston miner's death

West Virginia's Miner Health, Safety and Training Office (MHSTO) has recently completed their months' long investigation into a deadly mining accident that happened back in Charleston in June. Investigators have determined that it's likely that one of the equipment's emergency stop buttons might have been overridden, resulting in the 32-year-old Artie man's death.

The coal worker was reportedly utilizing a small automated vehicle to move about the Gateway Eagle Mine while working alone on the day of his accident. The mine is owned by the Charleston-based Rockwell Mining.

A reconstruction of the incident scene helped investigators to determine that the decedent was using a continuous miner immediately before his death. A review of its downloaded safety records showed that he was attempting to re-position the device when its emergency stop button became automatically disengaged.

Investigators determined that the man had apparently been positioned in the path of this continuous miner's drill head, which has a placement at the center of the machine's oscillating steel drum, as it came down. It's as it descended downward toward the mine's floor that they believe the man became trapped underneath it. He was ultimately found pinned between the cutting head and a pillar positioned underground.

Mine and warehouse workers are at particularly high risk for death if they're involved in either a pinning or crush injury. If a victim is lucky enough to survive an injury such as this, then he or she is likely to be left with permanently disabling injuries. If you've been seriously hurt or lost a loved due to unsafe equipment or work conditions, then a Charleston, West Virginia, wrongful death attorney can advise you of legal remedies available in your case.

Source: The News Center, "Emergency stop overridden on machine that killed West Virginia miner," Sep. 27, 2017

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