Jessica Lilly Published

Two Miners Die in Boone County Mine


Officials from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration say two workers were trapped and killed in an accident at a West Virginia coal mine. 

The incident occurred at Patriot Coal’s Brody No. 1 Mine in Wharton, Boone County.

Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:21 p.m.

Patriot Coal says the miners were fatality injured while the mine was conducting retreat mining operations. This type of mining is considered one of the most dangerous.

It’s a method of leaving pillars to support the roof but since there is profitable coal left in those pillars, the operator pulls them causing an intentional collapse.

MSHA’s website says last year, the mine produced nearly 1-million tons of coal.

Patriot also confirmed that Brody Mine is also considered the Black Stallion Mine where employees were given a 60 day notice of potential layoffs late last month.

Updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training (WVOMHS&T) confirms a fatal incident occurred last night at Patriot Coal’s Brody No. 1 Mine in Boone County. Eric D. Legg, 48, of Twilight, West Virginia, and Gary P. Hensley, 46, of Chapmanville, West Virginia, died in the incident, which occurred at approximately 8:47 p.m.  

No additional injuries have been reported, and no miners are reported trapped.  

WVOMHS&T inspectors are on site, and preliminary indications are that the incident resulted from a coal outburst. 

Original Post from Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8:51 a.m.

Amy Louviere of the Mine Safety and Health Administration told The Associated Press in an email Tuesday morning that a ground failure occurred at the mine around 8:30 p.m. Monday. She says the miners’ bodies have been recovered, and personnel from the agency are on the site. 

In October, the safety agency designated the mine as a pattern violator after  handing down 253 serious violations during a review period. An MSHA audit of Brody Mining’s records found injuries of miners that the operator failed to report to the federal agency. 

Patriot said in a statement at the time that it believed the mine didn’t qualify for the status and that it intended to contest it.