Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Miner killed in accident in Pike County mine
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2006) - A coal miner was killed today in an accident inside the McCoy Elkhorn No. 23 mine near Ashcamp in Pike County.
The victim has been identified as Tony Swieney, 44, a section foreman.
The Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing is investigating the accident. In keeping with procedure, the mine has been closed for the investigation.
The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. EST. The initial indication is that Swieney was struck in the head by a large plug at the end of an electrical cable, which he was dragging behind a motorized coal scoop. The plug end was wrapped around a pole of the scoop canopy. It appears the cable became snagged, the plug end whipped loose from the pole, and the victim was struck in the head. He was conscious when brought out of the mine but died enroute to a hospital.
"I want to express sincere sympathy to the friends and family of Mr. Swieney," Governor Ernie Fletcher stated. "Coal mining is part of our heritage and our economy, but this accident underscores the fact that mining has many hazards. That’s why we are determined to keep working to improve mine safety."
It was the 15th coal-related fatality in Kentucky in 2006 and the 11th to have occurred underground.