Kentucky coal miner killed at surface mine


BELL COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – A coal miner has died while working in a surface mine in Bell County, Kentucky.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet officials say the incident happened at the Double Mountain Mining #3″ Strata” surface mine in Fonde.

According to the cabinet, around noon Friday, Oct. 9, 48-year-old Douglas Slusher, of Calvin, was struck in the chest when a coupling failed on the hydro gun he was operating. They said he was given CPR, but was pronounced dead at the scene. Slusher was working as a hydro seeder at the time and had been a coal miner for eight years, the cabinet says.

“Our hearts go out to the miner, his family and co-workers for this tragic loss of life,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “We invite everyone in the commonwealth to join us in prayer today.”

The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources’ Division of Mine Safety sent investigators to the mine Friday afternoon. Mining operations shut down Friday and will remain suspended while the investigation continues, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

“On behalf of the cabinet, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the Slusher family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “We will learn more about how this accident happened so that we can hopefully prevent another such loss of life.”

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