Two workers killed in West Virginia coal mine accident
Two workers have been confirmed dead after an underground coal mine accident in West Virgina and rescue operations are wrapping up Tuesday morning as the local office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training confirmed there were no more miners reported trapped.
The fatal incident occurred Monday night at Patriot Coal's Brody Mine No. 1, located in Boone County, in the southwestern part of the state.
According to WOWK-TV the mine had received 253 "significant and substantial" violations from the U.S. government's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during a 12-month review, which ended last August.
The MSHA report says the violations show the mine had a disregard for the health and safety of its miners at the time the violations were issued.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant called for an investigation into the cause of the collapse in the center of the state.
"As we learn more details, our first priority is ensuring the safe rescue and recovery of everyone involved and comforting the families in Boone County," Tennant said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters..
In March last year Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy seeking to modify collective bargaining agreements and retiree healthcare benefits.
The company runs 11 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin and controls 1.8 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.
West Virginia was the site of one of the worst mining disasters in recent memory in the country. In 2010, more than 29 miners were killed in an explosion at a local mine.