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MSHA Report: Coal Miner Died After Falling Off A Supply Car

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Carol Guzy/ NPR
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Federal investigators released more details about a coal miner who was killed last week in Ohio County.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration published a preliminary report on the death of 38-year-old William Richards at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Valley Grove.

Richards, who had 13 years of experience, fell off a supply car and was pinned between the car and its coupler.

His death is the third in a West Virginia coal mine accident this year and the seventh nationally. An eighth coal miner died on Tuesday in New Mexico, according to MSHA.

The Tunnel Ridge Mine is owned by Alliance Resource Partners of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to a company press release, it saw its revenue increase 70 percent to $616 million in the second quarter of 2022 from a year earlier on high coal prices and strong sales.

There were five coal mine fatalities in 2020, the lowest number on record going back to 1900. As the industry recovered from the pandemic, 10 miners were killed on the job in 2021.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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