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Report: Unsecure Wall Killed Miner in West Virginia

Jessica Lilly
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal report says the wall that crushed a miner to death in West Virginia earlier this year wasn't properly supported.

The U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday says the February 6 death of 52-year-old Leonard W. Griffith was the result of an unsupported 18-feet-by-7-feet (5.49-meters-by-2.13-meters) mine wall falling down. Citing the report, the Charleston Gazette-Mail says Griffith had been performing "routine maintenance" when the wall fell and pinned him beneath it.

Griffith had been working at Sentinel Mine, an underground mine in Barbour County owned by Wolf Run Mining LLC. Wolf Run has been cited for violated federal standards that protect miners against working under unsupported roofs or walls. The report says the mine operator has altered support plans to secure the mine's walls.

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