UPDATE: Layoffs Expected at W.Va. Mine Where 2 Died

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 5/14/2014 12:15 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Employees at the West Virginia mine where two men were killed during a severe coal burst were notified weeks earlier that they may lose their jobs due to mass layoffs.

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal gave notice to 450 workers at its Wells mining complex near Wharton on April 23. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act requires companies to provide 60 days notice to employees if large layoffs are possible.

The Wells mining complex includes Brody Mine No. 1, where miners Eric Legg and Gary Hensley died on Monday.

The two workers were performing a risky method known as retreat mining, where the roof is intentionally collapsed to retrieve more coal.

Retreat mining is considered standard practice in mines where coal reserves are running out.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


WHARTON, W.Va. (AP) - Officials say two workers died at a West Virginia mine after they were trapped and the ground failed.

The mine has a history of safety violations.

Federal and state safety agencies say the incident occurred about 8:45 p.m. Monday at Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County, about 50 miles south of Charleston.

The state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training identifies the workers as 48-year-old Eric D. Legg of Twilight and 46-year-old Gary P. Hensley of Chapmanville.

No additional injuries or trapped workers are reported.

The state agency says preliminary indications show a coal burst was responsible but provided no other details.

In a statement, mine owner Patriot Coal confirmed the deaths and said a coal burst was the cause. The company didn't respond to emails or calls about the incident or the mine's safety record.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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