The Times West Virginian

March 14, 2013

Rock falls from mine roof, kills W.Va. worker


Associated Press

RACINE — Authorities are investigating the death of a miner at a Patriot Coal subsidiary’s operation in southern West Virginia.

State mine safety officials say 63-year-old Asa Fitzpatrick of Kermit died Wednesday evening at Newtown Energy’s Peerless Rachel mine in Racine.

State spokeswoman Leslie Fitzwater said Thursday that rock from the mine roof fell on the miner as he prepared to install a roof bolt.

She says Fitzpatrick had 40 years of coal mining experience.

The accident is the fifth mining-related fatality in West Virginia this year. It’s the first since Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin urged a statewide time-out for safety talks in February.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says Fitzpatrick died after he was brought to the surface.

The mine employs about 130 workers.