Many Pennsylvania residents make their living working in coal mines. Despite safety advances over the years, mining remains a dangerous profession. Pennsylvanians were reminded of that fact last month when a 35-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in a mine in Jenner Township in the early morning hours of Dec. 20.
The man, who lived in Central City, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been running a mobile bridge conveyor in the middle of the night at the North Fork Mine. It’s owned by AK Coal.
It hasn’t yet been reported exactly how the man suffered his injuries or precisely what they were. The investigation into the miner’s death by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is ongoing. So is the police investigation. The autopsy results are pending.
A state trooper from the Somerset station said in a press release that the miner “was assessed by co-workers who made every effort to swiftly extract him from the mine for additional medical attention.” Firefighters and emergency personnel from multiple agencies as well as a Medstar helicopter were sent to the mine at around 3:00 a.m. However, efforts to resuscitate the miner ultimately failed.
Mine work carries some unique and serious dangers. However, the companies that own and operate mines here in Pennsylvania and throughout the country have a responsibility to ensure that conditions are as safe as possible for their employees.
When miners are injured or killed, a thorough investigation is warranted to determine not just what happened but whether the incident could have been prevented. Victims’ families may also be wise to seek legal guidance and explore all of their options for receiving compensation and justice.