VOLGA, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice confirmed that a miner was killed in an accident at the Century Mining Longview Mine in Volga Wednesday morning.
Justice said during his Wednesday administrative update that the accident happened at 8:45 a.m.
Three surveyors were traveling underground to the mining section in a Mantrip vehicle. A wreck happened while they were in transport, and one of the surveyors were killed. Justice said that the victim was Cecil Barker, 62, of Phillipi, who had 18 years of mining experience.
“We’ve lost another great, great man, another, in my eyes, heroes. These people work so, so hard. Please, please, please keep Cecil Barker and his great family, absolutely his wife Mary… Absolutely please keep them in your prayers.”
Keith Hainer the CEO of the company, Allegheny Metallurgical, released the following statement Wednesday afternoon: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the coal miner which we lost today. Words cannot express how deeply saddened we are by this tragic event.”
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Justice’s office said that the two other surveyors who were in the crash sustained minor injuries.
In his live administrative briefing, Justice went on to commend coal minors on their service to West Virginia and America, saying, “These people get their dinner buckets, they absolutely go thousands of feet underground, in many situations, the heighth of the coal is not as high as this desk that I’m sitting at. People—not only can they not stand up, they can’t hardly even sit up, all day. All day. Thousands of feet underground, for all of us. For all this nation. For all that has happened through all the wars, for all of us.”
He continued, “Today, anybody who believes that this nation can do without coal today is an idiot—a bloomin’ idiot!” Justice’s full comment on the fatality can be viewed in the player above.