Department for Natural Resources
Kentucky miner dies in accident

Press Release Date:  Friday, January 22, 2010  
Contact Information:  Ricki Gardenhire, 502-564-5525  

A Bledsoe Coal Co. miner has been killed at the Abner Branch mine (permit No. 15737-24) in Leslie County. The miner’s name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

An employee who worked as a continuous miner operator was struck and killed by a rib roll.  A rib roll occurs when the coal pillar block, which supports the mine roof, has layers of coal that is divided by a rock seam. When the coal pillar gives way it releases portions of the pillar of coal and rock. The miner was hit by this debris.

Officials from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing are investigating. The mine will remain closed until a site investigation and interviews are complete.

This is the first mining-related fatality in Kentucky in 2010. In 2009, there were four mine-related fatalities.