Coal mine accident in West Virginia claims life

An accident at a West Virginia coal mine has claimed the life of a 44-year-old man.

TriCities.com reports that the victim, Joe Saunders of Princeton, West Virginia, and another miner were injured while working at Consol Energy's Buchanan number 1 mine near Oakwood in Buchanan County. "Saunders was hit in the head by a piece of a high-pressure water line valve that blew off and broke. The other miner suffered minor injuries."

It is the first coal mining fatality in the United States so far this year. The accident is under investigation.

Consol Energy is the largest US producer of coal from underground mines, and has a safety record almost twice better than the industry average, according to the company's website.