Coal Miner Killed in Pennsylvania Accident

June 18, 2008

A coal miner was killed Monday in an accident at an eastern Pennsylvania anthracite mine.

The 40-year-old man, who was not immediately identified, became trapped by falling coal or rocks about three-fourths of a mile into the Harmony Mine near Mount Carmel, said Tom Rathbun, of the state Department of Environmental Protection, which was alerted at 10:14 a.m.

Other miners managed to get the man out and he was airlifted to a hospital, but the DEP was notified at noon that he had died, Rathbun said.

It is the third fatal mining accident in Pennsylvania this year. The other two — in February in Indiana County and in May in Elk County — both occurred in the bituminous coal region in western Pennsylvania. Both resulted from accidents involving heavy equipment, Rathbun said.

The Harmony Mine, owned by the Mount Carmel-based UAE Coal Corp. Associates, has held a state mining permit since 1990.

The mine had one previous on-the-job fatality, in 1994, and a couple of other serious accidents, but Rathbun said it doesn’t appear to be an unsafe mine.

Inspectors from the DEP’s Bureau of Mine Safety and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration were on the scene Monday afternoon.

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