West Virginia Coal Mine Worker Involved in a Fatal Accident
Just this Monday night, a victim whose name is undisclosed, lost his life while working on a drilling rig at a West Virginia coal mine prep plant. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration the worker was killed when the rig he was working on overturned and he was crushed beneath. The death occurred at CONSOL Energy's Loveridge Mine, which is a preparation plant located in Fairview, West Virginia. Due to the incident not occurring on actual bonded mine property; the MSHA handed over the investigations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They will be conducting an investigation in order to get to the bottom of what caused the fatal accident this week, taking the life of a beloved worker and friend.
This specific mine was being used for exploratory research for the Marcellus Shale gas deposits in the area, resulting in 30 foot deep drilling on the site along with explosive usage in order to get readings on the seismic activity in the area. The Marcellus Shale formation is found all throughout Eastern America and is marine sedimentary rock that is believed to contain extensive gas reserves. The Shale is a primary focus for numerous energy companies all over the country seeking to find new methods for the development of energy. According to recent reports, the natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale reserves is even more substantial than was originally believed. The Patriot News claims that these gas reserves are significantly larger because they are found in a handful of states throughout the East. ITG Investment Research claims that the government has "grossly underestimated" the production data from the Shale.
At this point, it is said that the Pennsylvania based company, CONSOL; though cooperating with the investigation was not associated with the incident. They allegedly gave property admission for independent testing on their field to Seitel Inc., a Texas run company. Though they obtained the needed permits for their testing on CONSOL's property, CONSOL claims they were in no way associated with the gas operations or coal mining. Further information has yet to be released regarding the possible causes of the incident, though it is very likely that the family of the victim will be pursing legal action for both wrongful death and negligence claims for the loss of their loved one.
West Virginia is a well-known coal mining state, and sadly deaths are not an uncommon occurrence when it comes to those working in this dangerous field. According to the United States Mine Rescue Association, there have been 17 total mining disasters in the United States since 1976, and that is not including the smaller incidents resulting in the deaths and injury of one or two visits at a time. MSHA statistics state that in 2012 there were a total of 19 coal mining deaths and another 17 deaths related to metal/non-metal mining.
While it is fortunate the number of deaths is not higher per year, that number is still far too high. Common causes of these wrongful deaths and mining injuries can be from the collapsing of a coal pile, defective equipment, explosions, electrocutions and many others. While many injuries may not be fatal, there is a strong chance that when a worker is hurt on the job they may never be able to return to work or receive full functioning power back to their bodies. For that reason, workers compensation was created to help those who were hurt on the job. Despite the company's good intentions with this, many victims of injuries do not receive enough compensation to help them and their family with all of the subsequent costs caused by the injury. Not only will there be an overwhelming amount of medical bills, that even with insurance may still be costly; but the family will also have to deal with lost wages, future lost wages for not being able to return to work indefinitely, and more.
If you are a victim of a coal mining incident, do not hesitate in contacting a West Virginia coal mining accident attorney at Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC today! We are a fully quipped and highly qualified team of legal professionals ready and willing to help you fight for the compensation you deserve after an injury. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to prepare a strong case on your behalf, while showing you the compassion you deserve during your time of pain and suffering. Fill out a free case evaluation or call us at 800-900-0673 today for more information!