FAIRVIEW, W.Va. - West Virginia lost another coal miner on Thursday.
Consol Energy Inc. identified the miner killed at its Loveridge Mine in northern West Virginia as 39-year-old Jessie Adkins of Belington, W.Va.
The Canonsburg, Pa.-based company said Adkins was fatally injured around noon while on the job in Marion County. The miner operator, working as a bolter, had seven years of mining experience, three of which were gained at Loveridge Mine. He was injured when coal and other materials from a section of the side of the mine entry, called the mine rib, collapsed and pinned him against a nearby continuous mining machine.
No other miners were injured, according to information from Consol spokesman Joseph Cerenzia.
Continuous mining machines are used in underground coal mining to drive tunnels into the coal reserve for ventilation, movement of miners, equipment and supplies; transportation of mined coal or for development of longwall mining sections.
Federal and state mine regulators, company officials and the United Mine Workers union are at Loveridge Mine to investigate the accident and will issue a final report at a later date.
Adkins was taken to Fairmont General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, following the accident. He is survived by a wife, Melissa, and two teenage children.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller in a news release noted Adkins' death came during a week when Congress is considering legislation that would implement stronger mine safety rules.
"Today, the state mourns the loss of another dedicated miner and shares the grief of another mining family ... ," wrote Rockefeller, D-W.Va. "No law can prevent every injury or death - mining is dangerous and complex work - but this legislation can help to make our mines more safe and promote a culture of safety at the top in mining and other industries. We can and must honor our fallen miners by always fighting to make things better."
Adkins' death is the 42nd in U.S. coal mines this year, including 29 in an explosion at Massey Energy Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia on April 5.