Death of coal mine worker tied to operator’s failures

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — A federal review has concluded an underground coal mine worker in West Virginia died after an incident in January because the operator of the mine did not have rules in place to prevent such accidents.

The Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration tied the death of 38-year-old shuttle car operator Justin Lafferty to the mine operator’s failure to ensure there was safe passage for underground haulers.

The mine is run by Aracoma Coal Co. Inc. in southern Logan County.

Lafferty died on Feb. 21 after sustaining injuries in a Jan. 22 crash. He was injured when another shuttle car struck the vehicle he was operating.

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