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Coal miner dies in southern WVa; sixth fatality of 2021

November 2, 2021 GMT

SHARPLES, W.Va. (AP) — A coal miner died in an accident Monday in southern West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said.

The accident occurred Monday afternoon at Mingo Logan Coal Co.’s Mountaineer II Mine in Sharples, the governor’s office said in a statement.

The statement, which didn’t include details surrounding the death, identified the victim as Brian D. Wallen, 49. It said Wallen was an assistant chief electrician with 25 years of mining experience.

According to an incident report issued by the West Virginia Emergency Management Division, an underground mining vehicle wrecked and the victim was not breathing when an emergency call was made.

It’s the sixth coal mining-related fatality in West Virginia this year. The state had two coal mining deaths for all of 2020.

Justice said he and his wife, Cathy, “are deeply saddened to learn that we lost one of our West Virginia coal miners today.”