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Electrician Death Marks Third W.Va. Mining Fatality In 2019, Second At Blackhawk-Owned Mines

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An electrician was killed at a mine in Kanawha County early Tuesday morning. The incident marks the second electrician killed this summer at a mine operated by Blackhawk mining.

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training says that around 12:18 a.m. Tuesday, Steven Vernon Keeney died from injuries sustained from an apparent electrical shock. 

State mining inspectors are continuing to investigate the incident. 

Keeney, 40, of Boone County, was a certified electrician at the Panther Creek Mine in Kanawha County.

The mine is operated by Blackhawk Mining, LLC. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this summer. Blackhawk also operates the Kanawha Eagle preparation plant, where another electrician was killed in August.

Keeny’s death marks the third coal mining fatality in West Virginia this year and the 10th nationwide. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says four have occurred in Kentucky, two in Pennsylvania and one in Illinois.


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