Gov. Joe Manchin called for all coal companies in West Virginia to halt production and perform safety checks after two more mine workers were killed Wednesday in separate accidents.
‘We’re going to check for unsafe conditions, and we’re going to correct any unsafe conditions before we mine another lump of coal,’ Manchin said.
A miner was killed at an underground mine when a wall support popped loose, said Caryn Gresham, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.
The second fatality occurred at a surface mine when a bulldozer struck a gas line, sparking a fire and killing the operator, said Dirk Fillpott, a spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The deaths brought to 16 the number of mining-related fatalities in West Virginia since January 2.
‘West Virginia remains committed to putting the safety of every one of our miners first and foremost, far above any production that might come from that mining operation,’ Manchin said at a news conference.