West Virginia coal miner killed in dozer accident

CSX 5116 and 5113 (both AC4400CW's) lead a train of empty coal hoppers westbound near Handley, WV. Image by jpmueller99 via Flickr Creative Commons license

A coal miner in West Virginia has died following an accident at a mine owned by Revelation Energy, LLC.

WV Public Broadcasting reported the 34-year-old man was killed when a dozer he was operating travelled over the high wall.

"It’s heartbreaking when we hear that one of our coal miners has lost their life while on the job. Please join us in praying for the family, friends, and co-workers of Thurman A. Watts and all of our hard working and dedicated coal miners in West Virginia," reads a statement issued Friday morning by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

An investigation into the cause of the accident, in Fayette County, is being conducted by the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training.

According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) branch of the US Department of Labor, the death is the 15th this year, with eight of those killed in West Virginia.