Caroline MacGregor Published

Coal Miner Died After Being Pinned Beneath Mantrip

Two coal miners ride a mantrip cart into a mine.
Two coal miners ride a mantrip cart into a mine.
Carol Guzy/NPR

A coal miner who died last week at Century Mining-Longview Mine in Barbour County was pinned beneath a mantrip. 

The man, 62-year-old Cecil Barker, of Philippi, was working as a surveyor when the battery powered personnel carrier [mantrip] he was traveling on underground, overturned.

Barker’s cause of death was released in a preliminary accident report released Monday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). 

The report states that one of two other miners riding on the mantrip accidentally activated the emergency stop. The action caused the vehicle to drift backwards down a grade and to overturn, pinning Barker beneath.

The two other miners sustained minor injuries in the accident.

According to the report, Barker, who had 18 years of mining experience, was not riding in a designated seating area. Barker’s death is the second coal mining fatality in West Virginia this year. 

In February, 73-year-old William Mapes, of Kentucky, was killed while operating a bulldozer at the Appalachian Resource West Virginia’s Grapevine South Surface Mine in Mingo County.