Mining Accident

May 6, 1968: Incident at Hominy Falls Traps 25 Miners for Days

May 6, 2019

 On May 6, 1968, a continuous miner machine cut into an unmapped coal mine at Hominy Falls in Nicholas County. The incident unleashed a torrent of water from the old abandoned mine into the Gauley Coal & Coke Saxsewell No. 8 mine. Most miners made it out unharmed, but 25 were cut off from the entrance. The next 10 days were filled with tension and, often, despair.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

The nation's coal mines are nearing a record low mark for on-the-job deaths for the third year in a row and have a chance to keep the number of fatal accidents in single digits for the first time.

With just a day left in 2016, U.S. coal mines have recorded nine deaths. West Virginia had four, Kentucky had two and there was one each in Alabama, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The low number can be attributed to far fewer coal mining jobs and tougher enforcement of mining safety rules.

State regulators say a coal miner is dead following an accident at a Monongalia County mine.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said Tuesday that 49-year-old Raymond Scott Savage of Maidsville was killed Monday night at Redbone Mining Company's Crawdad No. 1 Mine.

The office says in a news release that Savage was struck by a piece of rock while operating a roof bolting machine. He was a section foreman.

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. 

The incident occurred at Patriot Coal's Brody No. 1 Mine in Wharton, Boone County.

Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:21 p.m.

Patriot Coal says the miners were fatality injured while the mine was conducting retreat mining operations. This type of mining is considered one of the most dangerous.

It’s a method of leaving pillars to support the roof but since there is profitable coal left in those pillars, the operator pulls them causing an intentional collapse.

MSHA's website says last year, the mine produced nearly 1-million tons of coal.

Patriot also confirmed that Brody Mine is also considered the Black Stallion Mine where employees were given a 60 day notice of potential layoffs late last month.

Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training (WVOMHS&T) confirms a fatal incident occurred last night at Patriot Coal's Brody No. 1 Mine in Boone County. Eric D. Legg, 48, of Twilight, West Virginia, and Gary P. Hensley, 46, of Chapmanville, West Virginia, died in the incident, which occurred at approximately 8:47 p.m.  

Update Monday October 7 9:00 a.m.

Leslie Fitzwater with the state Office of Miner's Health Safety and training says 62-year-old Roger R. King from Moundsville died Friday. 

King died Friday after an accident at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine in Marshall County. He was employed as a longwall maintenance coordinator.

King had 42 years of mining experience with 17 years experience at McElroy mine.